Monthly Archives: March 2009

Q & A with Todd R. Southwell

Todd R. Southwell, a partner at Freeborn & Peters, is in the mergers & acquisition, private equity and company representation practice, and has practiced for 10 years.

What do you find the most interesting about your practice?

I find it interesting that virtually every transaction I work on presents a varying array of challenging legal issues across all areas of the law. Because my mergers & acquisitions and private equity practice is largely transactional and negotiation driven, the issues that I tackle on transactions, from the smallest private transaction to the largest public transaction, are always different and often change on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.  The changing issues continually require me to retool my analysis, drafting, and responses. Continue reading


Calling all attorneys facing career transitions

Most of my blog entries are about activities occurring in the Chicago community — interesting lawyers, thought-provoking law school programs and brand-new practice groups. But this entry will be slightly different.

I wrote a story in our April issue of Chicago Lawyer about the impact the economy is having on the legal community. It saddened me to talk to young lawyers at the start of their careers who were concerned about getting a legal job, or who recently lost their jobs because they chose to work in a practice area where business had declined. And young lawyers are not alone. Many senior associates and partners also find themselves without a place to practice law because of the downturn in the economy.

An idea surfaced within Law Bulletin Publishing Co., which publishes Chicago Lawyer, to sponsor a networking event for those lawyers facing changes in their careers due to the economy. Many lawyers may feel that they are the only ones in this dreadful situation, but they are not alone. Continue reading

Free seminar and networking session

Law Bulletin Publishing Co. will be presenting “Attorneys in Transition Seminar,” featuring a panel discussion and time for networking on May 8 at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago’s Loop.

Co-sponsored by the Law Bulletin and JMLS, this free event is a chance for lawyers going through transitions in their careers due to the economy to network with other lawyers facing similar situations and to learn valuable information about finding that next job.

The discussion panel will include such experts as a financial adviser, law professor and job placement professional.

Check-in, an exposition and networking are slated for 8 to 9 a.m. The panel discussion and additional networking are scheduled to run from 9:15 to 11 a.m. The John Marshall Law School is at 315 S. Plymouth Court.

Because space is limited, advance registration is required. To register, e-mail us a note with the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Year of law school graduation
  • Practice areas
  • Email address

Lawyer chairs legal audit group

Partner Mari Henry Leigh serves as chair of Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson’s legal audit group.

She manages a group of attorneys, accountants, and paralegals in conjunction with the firm’s executive chair, Bruce Meckler.

The legal audit group litigates and provides legal and expert witness consulting services in the areas of attorney fee and legal fee disputes, legal audits and auditing, legal bill reviews and attorney ethics, legal malpractice, and litigation management issues. In addition to chairing and managing the group, she maintains an active litigation practice.

“I like the work because it’s forensic. I like the detail,” Leigh said. “I like the complexity of figuring out what went on, sort of the puzzle. … I think it’s as challenging as any other complex litigation. It is very factually intensive. It requires you to bring a lot of disciplines to the forefront. Continue reading

Firm names professional development and diversity director

Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon recently created the new firm management position of Professional Development and Diversity Director, naming litigation partner Sarah “Sally” L. Olson to the post.

Olson came to Wildman Harrold in 1985 as a summer associate and has since advanced to become a partner. A former litigation department practice group leader, Sally also has been a driving force behind the firm’s diversity committee, having chaired it since 2003, and is very familiar with the firm’s business, professional development and diversity goals, according to the firm.

She said she wants to assist the firm’s lawyers on their professional development so that their careers move in the direction they and the firm want. Continue reading

Welcome to Attorneys in Transition

Welcome.  This blog is all about assisting lawyers in transition.  We offer employment help, encouragement, resources and networking opportunities.  Stay tuned for plenty of features and assistance.

Some quick resources:

Law Bulletin’s Legal Career Center

Chicago Lawyer’s Top Jobs

Law Bulletin’s Legal Employment Weekly

Chicago Lawyer Network – Professional Networking Site

Katten Muchin Rosenman’s new practice

Katten Muchin Rosenman recently announced the formation of a Sustainability and Climate Change Practice to help clients address the challenges and maximize the opportunities created by sustainability requirements and initiatives affecting their businesses and investments.

Nancy J. Rich, a Chicago-based environmental partner, will chair the new practice.

The interdisciplinary practice represents clients facing legal issues relating to sustainability and climate change matters, including waste-to-energy projects, carbon sequestration and trading, greenhouse gas liabilities and disclosure obligations, green building standards, tax credits, alternative energy project financing, regulatory analysis, renewable energy portfolio standards, and water rights. Continue reading