Add a bookmark to get started

Katherine C. Jahnke Dale

Katherine C. Jahnke Dale

Co-Location Head, Chicago Real Estate Practice
Co-Managing Partner, Chicago office
Co-Managing Partner, Minneapolis office

Katie Jahnke Dale concentrates her practice in the areas of land use and zoning, public-private financing, public incentives, community and economic development, as well as general real estate.

Katie's practice involves representing developers, purchasers, sellers and owners of institutional, residential and commercial property in securing development and zoning approvals, negotiating and implementing public-private development and financing arrangements and incentives, performing general and zoning due diligence, and negotiating and closing real estate acquisitions and dispositions.

Katie has played a leading role in obtaining zoning and public financing approvals in several of Chicago's largest developments in recent years. In addition, she has led teams to secure zoning and Class L approvals for many of the significant projects in Chicago's Fulton Market District, one of the hottest neighborhoods for development in the United States.

Katie serves as a member of DLA Piper's Chicago and North American Pro Bono Committee.

Areas of FocusReal Estate
Bar admissionsIllinois


  • Ongoing representation of local university for initial zoning approvals and subsequent land use litigation and public agency approvals for new football stadium.
  • Ongoing representation of numerous developers in connection with approvals in Chicago's Fulton Market neighborhood on various projects totaling over 8.1 million square feet of office, 6,700 residential units and 1,000 hotel keys.
  • Ongoing representation of developer of 7.5 acre site on Goose Island in connection with securing 2.7 million feet of development and 2,650 residential units (ongoing).
  • Ongoing representation of developer of 53 acre site in connection with securing site plan approvals and implementing infrastructure improvements in connection with a 14 million square foot development involving US$500 million of infrastructure financing for former industrial site (ongoing).
  • Ongoing representation of developer of 60 acre site in connection with securing entitlements for 15 million square feet of development and US$550 million of infrastructure financing for site at Roosevelt and Clark Streets in Chicago, Illinois (ongoing).
  • Represented developer in connection with the conversion of a 22-acre former manufacturing facility into a mixed-use development containing office, residential and retail uses.
  • Represented developer with Class L and zoning approvals for the conversion of an iconic riverfront site into venue and commercial use.
  • Represented developer with zoning and right-of-way matters for a mixed-use riverfront development containing up to 2,699 residential units.
  • Represented developer in securing the approvals of a new 580,000 square foot global world headquarters for a Fortune 500 food company.
  • Represented Fortune 500 national retailer in the acquisition of new retail locations and acquisition, annexation, public incentives and development of new manufacturing facilities throughout the Midwest.
  • Represented German pharmaceutical company in establishment of its first US production facility, including site acquisition, land use entitlements and public incentives.
  • Represented developer securing entitlements for a two-tower, mixed-use development including 870 residential units on full City block in downtown Chicago.
  • Represented developer of long-vacant site along Lake Shore Drive in securing approvals of a US$1 billion 1,100-unit residential project.
  • M.B.A., University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 2019
  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law 2011
    summa cum laude
    Order of the Coif, Bar and Gavel Society

  • B.A., University of Kansas 2007


Chambers USA

  • Band 3, Illinois Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (2023)
  • Up and Coming, Illinois Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (2021 – 2022) 

The Legal 500 United States

  • Next Generation Partner, Land Use / Zoning (2023)
  • Up and Coming, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (2022)
  • Recommended, Real Estate Land Use/Zoning (2020)
Additional Recognitions
  • GlobeSt.: Women of Influence (2024)
  • Bisnow: Women Leading Real Estate (2024)
  • Chicago-Kent Collenge of Law: Alumni Pro Bono Service Award (2024)
  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch Real Estate Law (2023)
  • GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum 50 Under 40 list(2022)
  • Chicago Booth Global New Venture Challenge – Member of Winning First Place Team (2019)
  • National Immigrant Justice Center – Rising Star Award (2013)

Pro Bono

Katie spent her first year at DLA Piper as one of the firm's two inaugural Krantz Fellows working exclusively on pro bono matters for their first year. Katie's time during the fellowship was apportioned between the firm's national signature project, Advancing Education's Promise, which seeks to improve educational outcomes for children, and New Perimeter, DLA Piper's nonprofit affiliate dedicated to global pro bono projects.

Katie continues to be passionate about pro bono work. She has travelled to Bogota, Colombia to conduct trainings on pro bono; Kathmandu, Nepal to train women attorneys on commercial law; and Warsaw, Poland to facilitate a training on gender-based violence. Domestically, many of her recent pro bono matters involve representing immigration clients.


  • Practice Note, Zoning and Land Use Law for Owners and Developers (IL), Practical Law Real Estate, May 2024
  • "Conversions to Residential: Land Use and Architectural Issues to Consider," Commercial Property Executive, 7 August 2020


  • Moderator, "2023 Chicago Crane Watch - Behind the Scenes of Chicago’s Latest Developments," Urban Land Institute (ULI), December 7, 2023
  • Panelist, "Central Social District," Bisnow City of Fulton Market, July 13, 2022
  • Moderator, "Female Entrepreneurship Case Study: Birch Road Cellars & the New Membership Economy," Real Estate Finance Forum (REFF), February 2020
  • Panelist, "A Look at Chicago Neighborhoods and the Transactions that are Transforming them," NAREC 2016 Annual Financial & Tax Conference, June 21, 2016
  • Speaker, "YL Small Group Discussion Series: WeWork Fulton Market," Urban Land Institute, November 4, 2015
  • Speaker, "YLS Corporate Practice Committee Meeting: Pro Bono Opportunities," Chicago Bar Association, October 9, 2014

Civic and Charitable

  • Real Estate Finance Form (REFF) – President
  • Legal Aid Chicago – Board of Directors, Executive Committee
  • Civic Consulting Alliance – Board of Directors
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI) – Program Committee Member; Chicago Product Council Vice-Chair
  • Chicago Foundation for Women – Program Committee Member
  • United Way of Metro Chicago – Campaign Cabinet Member

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Economic Club of Chicago
  • Real Estate Finance Forum (REFF)
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Lambda Alpha International
  • Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)