Managing Partner, The Cicero Law Firm LLP
Years in current role: 32
What has been your biggest success over the past year?
During the past year, as was the case during the first year of the pandemic, our office has been inundated with work and short-staffed. My biggest success has been managing the practice in a manner that allows us to continue serving our clients well, while ensuring that our team of professionals feels valued and does not suffer burnout from the crushing workload.
What are your expectations for the rest of this year?
Hiring additional legal professionals and staff continues to be a challenge in the trusts and estates practice area, while the demand for our services continues to rise. I expect that our resources will remain stretched for the foreseeable future and into 2023.
What advice would you give someone starting a trusts and estates practice right now?
There is tremendous need for trusts and estates attorneys right now, and fewer attorneys are entering this area of practice. Therefore, the opportunity for success in this field is high. Although a significant portion of our time must be focused on keeping current with changes in the law and technology, I strongly encourage all trusts and estates attorneys to focus on developing their soft skills — communication, empathy, compassion, and really listening to a client’s concerns, including hearing what a client is not saying. These skills are the difference between a competent attorney and a truly excellent one.
What is one personal goal you have for the next year?
I hope to spend more time with family, friends, and professional colleagues, and relaxing with a book or in my gardens — activities that have been curtailed due to a heavy workload and the strain of the pandemic.