In 1999, Loevy and Loevy was a tiny, scrappy organization providing high-level legal representation to civil rights clients on a shoestring. Clients were often turned down by more established firms, and our cases were almost universally seen as the underdog.
Our first employee was hired, and in addition to intelligence, he showed remarkable grace and flexibility with the unorthodox arrangement of working out of our apartment. To see clients, meet opposing counsel, and take depositions – and to avoid additional embarrassing moments when living and working spaces are shared – we finally rented a small one-room library plus shared conference room from a local defense attorney. This tiny library space served as our first shared office, a model that seemed to stick despite multiple moves over the last 2 decades.
In 2002, Loevy and Loevy took the leap and moved to its own office in the West Loop – a space built around a large conference room designed for people to have access to each other for informal conversations, discussions, and camaraderie. By 2008, the firm multiplied in size and people were again doubled and tripled in offices; hallways became workspaces.
But within these cramped walls, there was hard work and also much laughter. Jon regularly brought our twin boys to the office, where we kept their pack and plays, bringing it out after lunch when they would decide where to set it up for their afternoon nap. They slept through calls with opposing counsel, calls with the court, client meetings, team meetings, etc. Arthur did our office food shopping which meant boatloads of Costco Trail Mix in bowls on the conference room table.
My role shifted during these early years as my career in mediation, facilitation, and eventually, education took me in different directions. By 2008, I stepped out of coming to the office on a regular basis.
This year, after a decade away, I stepped back into Loevy and Loevy. Some things are the same. Though we are in a new building, people are still doubled and tripled in offices. The shared conference room table which originated from our library space is now relegated to the kitchen. A new dent in the corner reminds us of its age – and my age – and the fact that it is not yet fixed is emblematic of more. That table now holds birthday donuts and welcome lunches.
The firm has grown substantially over the last 20 years. Each week, sometimes each day, someone is released from prison, or exonerated, or a summary judgment is granted, or a trial is won. People who work at the firm are kind, generous, collaborative, and so incredibly smart. Being client-focused isn’t a phrase, it is a way of being. I am honored to be back among this group of inspiring professionals.