Meet Our 2020-21 Participants
The 2020-21 SSPI participants started in February 2020. Five participants were selected through an application process that required detailed business plans.
How to Ethically Deal with Bad Behavior
November 5, 2020
Success in your practice has a lot to do with the way you handle opposing counsel. Unfortunately, some lawyers resort to bully tactics to gain a perceived advantage. They are the ones who may take the idea of "zealous advocacy" too literally. The truth is that every lawyer is bound to encounter opposing counsel who has made his or her job a nightmare. Have you ever encountered a lawyer where every meeting, call, or email exchange seems to spiral into venomous threats? Where every exchange involves hostility and sarcasm? How do we handle lawyers who use unethical, unprofessional tactics? On November 5, 2020, Jennifer Lavin, principal attorney at Jennifer L. Lavin, P.C., provided answers to these questions with guidance on how SSPI participants can get the most for their clients while handling challenging personalities in the profession.
Servicing Client During COVID-19
September 17, 2020
It is widely known that the legal industry is a people-centric and relationship-driven profession. With rapid changes to relationships (both personal and professional) caused by the pandemic, solo and small firms need to adapt to how clients are seeking and purchasing legal services. On September 17, 2020, Libby Popovic (‘98), partner at Caputo & Popovic, P.C., provided SSPI participants with strategies in effectively servicing clients during COVID-19. From updating business fundamentals and incorporating new ways of marketing to working new leads in emerging areas of law and learning different platforms, participants gained valuable insight in practicing during a pandemic.
Time Management for Lawyers
July 16, 2020
Good time management is an essential skill for all lawyers. When we organize and manage our time well, we are more likely to work productively and use our legal skills more effectively. When we are scattered, disorganized, and over-committed, we simply cannot leave a good impression on our clients and colleagues. On July 16, 2020, Director Dawn Young provided practical time management techniques designed to address lawyers’ unique challenges, including pandemic considerations when working from home. Participants from SSPI attended the workshop, as well as participants from the Louisiana Bar Association’s LIFT and the State Bar of Texas’ TOJI programs.
June 18, 2020
Michael J. Delrahim ('02), Managing Partner at Brown, Udell, Pomerantz & Delrahim Ltd., provided a workshop on effective negotiation strategies and tactics for lawyers. SSPI participants learned how to transform deals into better deals by moving away from conflict towards collaboration when negotiating with the opposing party. In particular, Mr. Delrahim shared how using calibrated questions, mirroring, and labeling can yield better results for clients.
Low- and No-Cost Marketing Strategies
The 90-Day Challenge: Increase the Success of Your Business Development
On April 17, 2020, participants learned how to develop an effective marketing and business development plan for their firms. Nancy Linder (Chief Marketing Officer, Chapman & Cutler, LLP) and Linda Berger (Growth Strategist and Coach, Business Women Warriors) discussed the importance of understanding how to market legal services, developing a client development process/pipeline, owning and promoting value, and knowing the numbers. At the end of the workshop, the participants were presented with a 90-day challenge to incorporate what they learned on a particular project related to their business.
Law Practice Management
March 17, 2020
On March 17, 2020, Michelle R. Greene (’11) from G&G Law LLC shared practice management strategies with participants. From managing administrative tasks and implementing cost control to developing structured procedures for administrative and client service workflows, participants learned how to increase their firms' overall efficiency and bottom line.
Full Day Training Boot Camp
February 21, 2020
On February 21, 2020, SSPI participants attended an all-day boot camp that provided essential information on getting a successful law practice up and running. Dean Anita K. Krug 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.
- Ethical Considerations in Starting a Law Practice – Presenters: Kathleen Robson Gordon ('09) and Salvador J. Lopez ('08), Partners, Robson & Lopez LLC
- Law Firm Finance – Presenter: Andrew B. Gordon ('12), Attorney, Gordon Law Group, Ltd.
- Productivity, Marketing, and Pricing – Presenter: Andrew R. Greene, Attorney, ASG Law LLC
- Common Causes of Malpractice Claims and How a Malpractice Policy Protects Your Practice – Presenters: Andrew Murray and Magali Olson, ISBA Mutual
- The Short List for Starting Your Firm – Presenter: Mellisa Grisel ('16), Attorney, Atlas Legal Services, LLC
- Building Your Business Development Foundation – Presenter: Alycia Sutor, Managing Director, GrowthPlay
- Four Critical Moments in Attracting and Retaining Happy Clients – Presenter: Randy Micheletti ('09), President and Founder, Incubate IP
- Billing, Retainers, and Engagement Agreements – Presenter: Mariana Karampelas ('11), Attorney, MK Law, LLC
- Creating a Law Firm Tech Plan – Presenter: Debbie Ginsberg, Educational Technology Librarian, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Welcome and Introduction to Amata Law Office Suites – Presenters: Grant Drager and Beth Lestingi, Amata
Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring
February 21, 2020
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:
- Lindsay Ayers (mentee) and Claudia Badillo (mentor)
- Jawad Fitter (mentee) and Ljubica Popovic (mentor)
- Victoria Mullins (mentee) and Jennifer Lavin (mentor)
- Jeremiah Shavers (mentee) and Mariana Karampelas (mentor)
- Joseph Stewart (mentee) and Randy Micheletti (mentor)