image

Levenfeld Pearlstein does not operate in a vacuum. We rely upon our network of clients, advisors, trusted friends, and colleagues to help us learn, grow, and connect. The firm launched our annual One Degree event to help people within LP's network connect, and we introduced bio videos to help LP's clients and potential clients connect to its attorneys. Because there are a lot more connections to be made in LP's network, we launched One Question, One Degree – a video series that asks insightful, business-related questions to people in LP's network. Through personal stories and anecdotes captured on video, our network will get to know LP's attorneys and contacts, and in turn, will become a little more interconnected.

We started this series in April 2016 and have asked questions over the years that made us think, made us laugh, and made us sigh with emotion. We've learned a lot about the people who roam the halls of LP, but have plenty more to uncover.

Check back for updates to this page, and contact us here to be notified about future One Question Installments or to be featured. 

Who Should I Know at LP?

We would never ask our staff and directors to play favorites, but after working with people for years, close relationships form. We like to use One Question as a way to help you get to know our attorneys, so this month we asked our staff, managers and directors to tell us about an attorney they know pretty well. Maybe it’s someone they think is flying under the radar, someone who is doing good work that you likely haven’t met yet. Or maybe it’s someone they’ve had the pleasure of working with for 40 years. We asked them who they think you should get to know. They answered, but they definitely aren’t playing favorites. Except Andrea. She has favorites.

What business practice have you held onto for too long?

We are creatures of habit. It’s not that we can’t relinquish control; it’s that we sometimes forget to. It’s not that we need everything printed; it’s that sometimes we hit print without thinking. As business and technology continue to adapt, sticking to old practices isn’t always done out of stubbornness (although sometimes it is). It’s often because doing things the old way is familiar and reliable and we haven’t given thought to changing the habit yet. The participants in this month’s One Question for one reason or another have given up a practice that was once a way of doing things they never questioned, but as they can tell you, times and people and habits change.

What does your LP parent do?

Creating an effective and compelling elevator pitch can be difficult. Even more challenging? Trying to explain your job to your kids. Today is Take Your Daughter or Son to Work Day, so we asked the sons and daughters of LP to explain what their parents do.

Our participants ranged in age from 8 months to 20-years-old, but they all had one thing in common: They were maybe only kinda, sorta sure what their parent does for a living. In fact, when asked what their parent did all day, 90 percent of the kids used the universal code for typing. And only one knew a lawyer joke. A shame.

If you need to work on your elevator pitch, our kids aren’t the ones to ask for help. But if you need a good chuckle or a better explanation of what an ESOP is, they have you covered.

What woman has influenced your life the most?

Women’s History Month comes to a close tomorrow, and we did not want to let this month pass by without giving our attorneys and friends the opportunity to talk about the women who have inspired them or influenced them to become better attorneys, better moms, better athletes, better people. Here are a few stories of remarkable women who have done just that.

How did you meet your significant other?

Not all love stories begin with grand gestures. Sometimes they’re about persistence. Sometimes they involve simply knowing the right people. Sometimes love stories start with a misunderstanding over a jersey. Regardless of how your story began or if you’re waiting for it to begin, we thought it appropriate to ask our attorneys and friends for Valentine’s Day to recount how they met their significant other.

What are you proud that you accomplished in 2016?

Two weeks in, it feels like we are already knee deep into 2017. Maybe you’ve made time to sit down and think about what you hope to achieve this year, personally or professionally. Just as important as looking ahead is taking the time to reflect on what you accomplished over the past 365 days. For this month’s One Question, we asked our attorneys and our network what big items they checked off their to-do list in 2016. Some highlighted business achievements, others lauded personal victories and one participant talked about trying to achieve balance between the two. Whether you made your 2017 goals public like we did in 2015 or just have them sitting in the back of your mind, it is go time. There are 355 days left in 2017.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?

Every 14 weeks, a group of students graduates from the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Chicago’s Community Kitchens program. As a supporter of CCK, we always try to have at least one LP person in attendance. We also like to give a small gift to the graduates in recognition of their efforts. This spring, after giving a $25 gift card to one CCK participant, we received a note. She had used the money to buy some cutting boards and a digital scale, and thanked us for helping her start her culinary journey.

That's the thing about giving. Small gestures can make a big impact, be it a $5 mug, an old hat or something that has no monetary value whatsoever. We asked our One Question participants this month what is the best gift they’ve ever given or received. No surprise, most of their responses had little to do with the dollar amount of the gift. They were about the thought behind it.

Whether you have something special planned for someone special this holiday season or you’re blown away by a thoughtful gift, we wish you a holiday season full of lasting memories.

What motivates you to give to the organizations that you support?

On this Giving Tuesday, you've likely been urged or possibly persuaded to send a few dollars to a charitable cause. At Levenfeld Pearlstein, our charitable contributions are focused on supporting the Greater Chicago Food Depository, namely its Chicago's Community Kitchens program, and Cristo Rey. We believe by channeling our support to a select number of organizations, we can make a greater impact than had we spread our charitable giving among many. However several of our attorneys and staff have charities that they support individually, many for reasons that strike very close to home. In this month’s installment of One Question, they discuss some of the ways they give back and the reasons they support the charities they do.

What is the biggest risk you've taken?

When you ask attorneys to talk about the biggest risk they’ve taken, their responses are generally prefaced by the phrase “I’m not really much of a risk taker, but…” Attorneys tend to be pretty risk adverse. Still we heard stories about quitting comfortable jobs, taking a chance at love and reflecting on decisions that at the time didn’t seem like a risk at all. We invite you to think about some of the risks you’ve taken in your life. And if you’re not an attorney, likely more than a few will come to mind.

How can businesses improve work life balance?

These days, the lines between work and your personal life are probably blurred more than ever. We are a country of people who don't routinely unplug, so Sunday morning emails aren't all that uncommon.

Professionals are always trying to find ways to balance their work commitments with their personal lives, and fall is the time of year that puts those competing interests at odds. We asked our attorneys, directors and partners what they think businesses can do to help improve work-life balance. Watch and see what our participants this month have to say. Hopefully something will resonate with you, even if you waited to read this until Monday.

What do you wish your younger self had known that you know today?

Life is a journey, hindsight is 20/20 and experience is the best teacher. We often speak in generalities about the passage of time and what we learn from years gone by. But for our purposes, we don’t want generalities. We want stories. For this month's One Question we asked our participants (people junior and senior in their careers) what wisdom they would relay to their younger selves if they had the chance. The responses spanned from career advice to better ways to spend their free time. Here’s hoping if you are just starting out as a professional or counting down the days to your retirement that one of the videos below will resonate with you. After all, we probably could all stand to take a little more vacation and get better at living in the moment.

What is One Thing Someone Would be Surprised to Know About You?

We are attorneys and savvy business people. We take our jobs seriously and work hard for our clients. But we are also lumberjacks, and competitive water skiers and planning to run marathons in Antarctica. We are unique with diverse skillsets and experiences that are often buried behind our standard headshots and bio profiles. We wanted to give you more – more information about who we are and what we are made of. For this month's One Question, we dug a bit deeper to find out one thing someone would be surprised to know about you. We were surprised (and delighted), and we hope you are too.

What is the Kindest Thing a Stranger Has Ever Done for You?

You bumped into an old acquaintance and suddenly realize your kids have run off without you noticing. You get a call in the middle of the night with probably some of the worst news a parent can hear and wonder what to do next. You are watching one of the country’s worst terrorist attacks unfold hundreds of miles away from home and feel utterly alone. These are moments we hope to never find ourselves in. But they are also moments when unexpected kindness, compassion and understanding can transform our views of humanity. For this month's One Question, we asked to hear stories of the kindest thing a stranger has ever done, from small gestures to large favors. Here's hoping these heartwarming stories may remind you to pay it forward with a good deed.

When Did Listening to Your Gut Pay Off?

Sometimes your head says no, but your gut says yes. You can choose to overpower your instincts and rely on your intellect, or you can go with your gut. It’s a tricky decision to make, so what we wanted to know about were the times when listening to one’s gut paid off. Should you send your only child 700 miles away to high school? Is buying a house when the housing market is collapsing really a good idea? Should you go against everything you’ve been trained and leave that voicemail? According to our respondents, yes. And go with your gut.

How has technology created challenges or opportunities in your business?

Love it, hate it, embrace it, or ignore it: Technology stops for no one. This is us, embracing technology. 

LP relies on our network of clients, advisors, trusted friends, and colleagues to help us learn, grow, and connect. Because we believe there are a lot more connections to be made in our network, we're launching One Question, One Degree - a monthly videos series that asks insightful, business-related questions to people in our network. 

And since we're talking technology, what else could be a more fitting first question for this series than the one posed below. Having trouble keeping up with email? Have you found yourself relying on the telephone lately as a more impactful means of communication? Are you delighted and overwhelmed by all the ways technology can transform your business? You're not the only one. See what our network has to say below. 

You got to know our attorneys. Now get to know a little more about out firm.