2019-20 Program

Meet Our 2019-20 Participants

The 2019-20 class of SSPI participants started in February 2019. Fifteen participants were selected through an application process that required detailed business plans.

2019-20 Participants
SSPI participants in the 2019-20 cohort.
Ravi Anand Henderson Banks
Aidan Butler Michael Cosgrove
Jason Garcia Carolina Garza-Gongora
Michael Johnson Kate Levine
Randall Manoyan Daniel Sanders
Sharon Shi Robert Windon
Mark Wolff Omar Younis
Adam Farag  

Best Practices to Increase the Success of Your Marketing/Business Development Activities

April 17, 2019

Nancy Linder, Director of Marketing at Chapman & Cutler LLP, led an interactive workshop on strategies, processes, and techniques to build and grow a law practice on April 17, 2019. Ms. Linder discussed how successful law firms market legal services, the importance of marketplace identity (your brand), and creating client communication and service standards that focus on client needs and expectations. Participants had the opportunity to give their law firm “pitch” (lawyer introduction or elevator speech) with practical feedback.

Adam Farag, SSPI participant.
Nancy Linder discusses marketplace identity.
Nancy Linder provides feedback on pitches.
Robert Windon, SSPI participant.

Tech on the Ground Floor

March 21, 2019

On March 21, 2019, Chicago-Kent's technology librarian Debbie Ginsberg and Technology Training & Marketing Librarian Emily Barney provided SSPI participants with their 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. They also learned about online marketing tools as well as strategies on security best practices.

Debbie Ginsberg
Debbie Ginsberg discusses her top five tech essentials for lawyers.

Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring

February 28 and March 1, 2019

On February 28, 2019 and March 1, 2019, SSPI participants and their mentors attended a mentoring orientation session presented by Dawn Young, director of Institutional Projects. The orientation provided an overview of the mentoring component of the program, including its purpose and goals. Mentoring pairs then participated in break-out sessions to develop and create structured mentoring plans to customize and chart the progress of their learning experience.

SSPI Participants and Mentors:

SSPI Participants and Mentors
Henderson Banks and Michael O'Connell
SSPI Participants and Mentors
Kathleen Robson and Adrian Butler
SSPI Participants and Mentors
Omar Younis and Laurie Silvestri
SSPI Participants and Mentors
Daniel Sanders and Scott Weisman
SSPI Participants and Mentors
Heather Blaise and Adam Farag
SSPI Participants and Mentors
Mariana Karampalas and Carolina Garza-Gongora 

Full Day Training Boot Camp

February 22, 2019

On February 22, 2019, 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 Young, director of Institutional Projects, moderated the training, which included presentations from seasoned IIT Chicago-Kent alumni and business professionals in the community.

Patrick Wartan and Alex Pappas
Alexander Pappas ('09) and Patrick Wartan ('10) discuss developing niche practices.
Laurie Silvestri
Laurie Silvestri ('86) shares solo practice management tips.
Melissa Grisel
Melissa Grisel ('16), former SSPI participant, shares pointers on starting a law firm.
  • You’ve Got the Client, Now What? A discussion on billing, retainers, initial client contact – Presenter: Michael O’Connell (‘79), Attorney, Law Office of Michael S. O'Connell
  • Building Your Business Development Foundation - Presenter: Brie Leung, Principal Consultant, GrowthPlay
  • Entity Formation; Developing Niche Practices - Presenters: Patrick Wartan (’10) and Alexander Pappas ('09), Attorneys, Food and Beverage Group, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
  • 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
  • Malpractice Insurance - What are you Buying? What are Carriers Selling? - Presenters: Andrew Murray, Director of Sales; Janet Rapp, Managing Director of Underwriting, ISBA Mutual
  • The Short List for Starting Your Firm - Presenter: Mellisa Grisel ('16), Attorney, Atlas Legal Services, LLC
  • Solo Practice Management Tips (including other tips learned over 30 years in practice!) - Presenter: Laurie A. Silvestri ('86), Principal, Law Offices of Laurie A. Silvestri
  • Welcome and Introduction to Amata Law Office Suites - Presenter: Ron Bockstahler, Co-Founder and CEO, Amata Holdings, LLC