One of Chicago’s most successful divorce and family law attorneys, John M. D’Arco, almost put out different kinds of house fires than he typically puts out today.

D’Arco, a partner at Beermann LLP, passed the Chicago firefighters test while a student at John Marshall Law School and had been accepted into the firefighters academy.

But his then-girlfriend, Sandra, who is now his wife and co-worker at the firm, talked him out of it.  “I’d rather see him put out fires in the courtroom, than in a burning building. Plus he’s genuinely great at what he does and it would be a shame to share that talent with a competing, equally grueling career.”

“I was fairly serious about it,” said D’Arco, a Lincoln Park resident who graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep and University of Illinois. “But, as a divorce and family law lawyer, you definitely still put out a lot of fires.”

D’Arco is consistently ranked among Illinois’ top attorneys, and he has been listed in the “Best Lawyers in America” every year since 2015.

He has represented celebrity and high-profile cases of the “who’s who” in Illinois, but prefers to keep them anonymous. D’Arco said he tries to keep his cases and celebrity clients as “low profile” as possible and let his hard work do the talking.

“The clients appreciate me not using them to further my career by putting their names in the press,” D’Arco said. “I focus my energy more on the clients and giving them the representation and full attention that they need. … If you’re good at what you do, you tend to get results.”  And results, D’Arco gets, day in and day out.

D’Arco tries to make the divorce process as seamless and smooth as possible with his clients. His parents divorced when he was 10 years old, but D’Arco said he wound up spending more quality time with his father following the divorce.

“I remember a lot about my parents’ divorce, and my dad spent a lot more time with me after the divorce than when my parents were married.” Parents tend to spend more time with their kids after they’re divorced because there needs to be more focus on the children when you have them.  It puts a lot more structure in place for them to have a more solid relationship with their kids.”

Speaking of kids, D’Arco is thrilled that his daughter, Marina, is following his footsteps by entering St. Ignatius as a freshman this upcoming school year. Four of D’Arco’s other relatives, including his father and brother, graduated from the prestigious high school.

“I’m very happy she’s going to my alma mater,” D’Arco said.