Jul 30, 2012
My summer associate experience (we called ourselves clerks back in the dark ages) took place in the summer of 1990. The firm had just recently moved to its new offices in Market Tower and consisted of less than a third of the number of attorneys we have today. Offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other locations were only ideas bantered about after work when we "clerks" would listen to the dreams and aspirations for the firm's future as espoused by partners and associates. The summer flew by, and, as one who had experienced other professional lives prior to law school, it took me all of about a week to figure out that this was a place at which I would hopefully make my first and last stop as an attorney. Why such an easy choice? The answer is deceptively simple: the people.
It didn't take long that summer to fall in love with an environment where staff, clerks, associates and partners were treated with equal respect and neither real nor artificial barriers existed between those with such titles. I quickly made friendships that I can unhesitatingly say remain among the best that I have. Never have I been associated with a group of people with such diverse backgrounds and perspectives that are yet able to work so closely together toward the common goal of serving the firm's clients and solving complex and difficult legal challenges, all without losing sight of the business aspects of running a law firm and having fun while doing it!
Well, fourteen years later, much has changed. I became an associate in 1991 and a partner in 1996. My wife and I find ourselves with three wild but beautiful children (an admittedly biased but accurate description). The firm has tripled in size and the Chicago, D.C., Los Angeles, and Kansas City offices are a reality. Our client base has continued to grow, and the legal challenges facing it have likewise become increasingly complex. One thing, however, has not changed, and that is the quality and character of the people comprising the SGLH&F family. When any entity experiences growth, it can be very difficult to hang on to the qualities of life that made the place special to begin with. Because we recognize this, we all go out of our way to guard what makes SGLH&F a special place to practice law, and that is the respect for one another and true camaraderie that make this a place I will always want to call home. As Norm Garvin often says, he still looks forward to coming to work every day. I don't think it can be said any better.