2018-19 Program

Meet Our 2018-19 Participants

The 2018-19 class of SSPI participants started in February 2018.  Four participants were selected through an application process that required detailed business plans.

Odell Mitchell III John Fox
Jeff Martensen Mellisa Grisel

Law Practice Management

Judge Hartigan discusses managing costs and increasing profitability.
Judge Hartigan discusses managing firm costs with participants.

On April 19, 2018, the Honorable Judge Russell W. Hartigan, partner at Goldstine, Skrodzki, Russian, Nemec and Hoff, Ltd., and president of the Illinois State Bar Association, shared strategies in law practice management, including operational essentials, managing costs, profitability, managing risk, marketing, and ethical considerations. 


Tech on the Ground Floor

Debbie Ginsberg shares tech essentials for the solo practitioner.
Debbie Ginsberg shares tech essentials for the solo practitioner.

On March 13, 2018, Debbie Ginsberg, Chicago-Kent's technology librarian, provided SSPI participants with her top five tech essentials for solo practitioners. Participants learned about various hardware, software, on-the-go technology, and management tools to help lawyers increase productivity and efficiency for their firms. 


Full Day Training Boot Camp

On February 23, 2018, SSPI participants attended an all-day boot camp that provided essential information on getting a successful law practice up and running.  Dean and Professor of Law, Harold J. Krent, welcomed the new lawyers to the program and Dawn Youngdirector of Institutional Projects, moderated the training, which included presentations from seasoned IIT Chicago-Kent alumni and business professionals in the community.

  • How to Ethically Start a Practice: ARDC Procedures and IOLTA Accounts - Presenter: Melissa Smart, Litigation Group Manager and Senior Counsel, Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) of the Supreme Court of Illinois
  • How to Obtain and Retain Clients -  Presenter: Robert C. Milla (’06), Attorney, Milla & Associates, LLC
  • Entity Formation; Developing Niche Practices - Presenter: Patrick Wartan (’10), Attorney, Chair of the Food and Beverage Group, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
  • Marketing and Business Development - Presenter: Nancy Roberts Linder, Director of Marketing, Chapman and Cutler, LLP
  • Overview of Legal Professional Liability Insurance—Basic Guidelines and Anatomy of Policies Malpractice Insurance - Presenters: Andrew Murray, Director of Sales; Janet Rapp, Managing Director of Underwriting, ISBA Mutual
  • Creating Organic Growth in a Successful Practice – Presenter: Heather F. Harper, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • You’ve Got the Client, Now What? A discussion on billing, retainers, initial client contact, and a representation plan – Presenter: Michael O’Connell (‘79), Attorney, Law Office of Michael S. O'Connell
  • Welcome & Introduction to Amata Law Office Suites - Presenter: Ron Bockstahler, Co-Founder and CEO, Amata Holdings, LLC
Professor Heather Harper
Professor Heather Harper discusses creating "organic growth" in a law practice.
Robert Milla
Robert Milla ('06) provides strategies in obtaining and retaining clients.
Michael O'Connell
Michael O'Connell ('79) provides a primer on engagement agreements and retainers.
Patrick Wartan
Patrick Wartan ('10) discusses the value in creating niche practices.
Melissa Smart
Melissa Smart from the Illinois ARDC provides helpful information in creating an ethical practice.
Ron Bochstahler
Ron Bockstahler, CEO of Amata, welcomes SSPI participants to the program.