Tell us about your earliest memories of the Chicago office. How was it started?
Loeb & Loeb Chicago started with me and five other lawyers who came over from a smaller boutique law firm. In the early days of the Chicago office, our transition into Loeb was marked by some challenges but also exciting opportunities as we navigated opening a new office for the firm. At the time, Loeb had only opened the Nashville office outside the New York and Los Angeles offices. Chicago was the first new office to open in more than a decade, so setting it up involved a steep learning curve.
I recall getting a lot of support from the Loeb administration team, from finding the perfect office space to hiring support staff and transferring over files, which made the process feel seamless. We started just as we were heading into the bitter Chicago winter, and lawyers and support staff from other offices braved the weather to help us get settled.
Since we were coming in as a team dedicated to trademark enforcement and prosecution and setting the foundations of the Intellectual Property practice at Loeb, the firm encouraged us to visit other offices to develop collaboration with our colleagues in other locations and help us share knowledge about our area of experience.
Overall, it was a challenging yet rewarding experience, and it laid the foundation for the success of the Chicago office that you see today.
How have you seen the practices in your office evolve over the past two decades?
When we opened the Chicago office, our goal was to grow beyond our niche practice area and scale up to mirror practices firmwide, which span real estate, corporate, trusts and estates, litigation and entertainment. We quickly stepped up our recruiting and marketing efforts in these areas to start growing the office.
Over the past 20 years, the Chicago office has expanded in several of these areas, helping Loeb develop market-leading practices nationwide and adding to the firm’s bench strength in several areas where we excel. A large number of lawyers in the Chicago office are focused on the Advanced Media & Technology practice, quickly outnumbering our original group on the IP side. The AMT practice is the largest group in the Chicago office today and serves several large firm clients in marketing, advertising, promotions, privacy and outsourcing. And our office tremendously adds to the overall capabilities of the firm, making Loeb one of the leading law firms and a force to be reckoned with in the AMT space.
Our Trusts & Estates practice has also experienced remarkable growth, making it one of the larger groups in our office. This expansion was a result of strategic efforts to integrate a group of four lawyers who joined us about six years ago. Leveraging Loeb’s extensive support and infrastructure, they have successfully nurtured and expanded our T&E practice firmwide. Their efforts have been instrumental in bolstering our team with the addition of a new partner and several associates.
Within the past decade, we have also grown our capabilities in strategic areas for the firm, such as real estate, corporate, patent and litigation. Our Chicago-based lawyers work seamlessly with our teams in the U.S. and Asia to serve a global client base.
Tell us something that is unique to your office and sets it apart from other Loeb offices.
The Chicago office is situated in the lively neighborhood of River North, known for its bustling atmosphere and abundance of attractions and restaurants. This vibrant location is mirrored in the culture of our office, which is more relaxed and modern.
Our office and Loeb as a whole are forward thinking and proactive in staying ahead of societal trends and their impact on our clients. We have taken a leadership role in addressing AI-related challenges, providing comprehensive education internally and to clients, particularly in IP and privacy matters arising from AI integration.
Many of our lawyers are focused on tech-adjacent practices and were poised to take on the challenges and opportunities brought on by the remote and hybrid work culture that kicked off during the pandemic. In fact, they were able to take advantage of newer opportunities by collaborating with colleagues across the Loeb network and connecting with clients across geographies in the hybrid space.
Are there any community initiatives that tie you closely to your community?
The establishment of our Chicago office marked a significant milestone for Loeb, and we were determined to extend our presence in a way that positively impacted the local community. Over the course of two decades, we have tried to root ourselves in the fabric of this community by volunteering our time for social justice and, through our pro bono programs, serving the interests of those who may not be able to get legal representation otherwise. I serve on the board for Lawyers for Creative Arts, an organization providing pro bono legal services to artists in need. Several lawyers from our office have dedicated their time to support their clients with a variety of copyright and IP matters.
Another cause we support is Cabrini Green Legal Aid, an Illinois-based organization assisting those facing hardships in the criminal legal system. Our lawyers have volunteered at the Daley Center’s criminal records expungement desk, helping eligible individuals in Illinois seal or expunge their records—a vital service that impacts these individuals’ ability to retain jobs and gain access to public resources.
Where do you see Loeb in Chicago headed from here?
The pandemic brought unexpected benefits to our firm, especially in terms of interoffice collaboration. Our hybrid working style has proven highly effective, allowing our lawyers to make significant contributions to various practice areas where we can provide real value. Consequently, we have expanded our reach to support other offices with capital markets, financial transactions and other matters, growing beyond our roots in IP, AMT and T&E.
Our head count has grown from six to approximately 80 lawyers and staff in the past two decades. And in scope, we punch well above our weight. As I reflect on the progress we have achieved over the past 20 years, I eagerly anticipate the journey ahead for the next 20.