WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE
YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? AS TOLD TO JESSICA TAM
Keep it short.
Eliminate extraneous facts, particularly
when discussing case law, and get to the
heart of the matter as quickly as you can.
I clerked for Justice Carl A. Lund of
the Appellate Court, 4th District, for just
over two years. On my first day, we had a
long talk about legal writing. Naturally,
his advice pertained to my work assisting
him with appellate court decisions and
memoranda, but I think it applies equally
well to private practice.
On a similar note, the court reporter
who served Justice Lund during his years
as a trial judge developed a code for
phrases he used most often. One of her
favorites was “SS,” which stood for “Sit
down and shut up!” I can think of no better
advice to someone who has made their
point, whether it be at oral argument or in
drafting an appellate brief.
CRAIG L. UNRATH / PARTNER, HEYL
ROYSTER VOELKER & ALLEN, PEORIA;
Bottom line: You need
to know the facts in
your case and you
need to know the law.
And fight for justice.
You hear the 7th Circuit judges talk, you
go to presentations, you do presentations.
… It’s always, you’ve got to know your case.
Know your case and know when to push for
a change in the interpretation of law.
MARIA BALDINI-POTERMIN / FOUNDING
ATTORNEY, MARIA BALDINI-POTERMIN &
ASSOCIATES, CHICAGO; IMMIGRATION
Be yourself and be
true to yourself, and
you will succeed.
Just in general … I’m not trying to be
someone I’m not. … [It's advice from] one
of the senior partners at the firm that I
started out at.
STUART J. KOHN / PARTNER, LEVENFELD
PEARLSTEIN, NORTHBROOK; ESTATE
PLANNING & PROBATE