Working for a living

Opening Statement

Paul Dailing


April 2017

Trigger warning: We’re going to talk about lazy, entitled, narcissistic, tech-obsessed, participation-trophy-flaunting millennial snowflakes.

That’s what a magazine piece on the next generation is supposed to do, right? Simplify the world into “Millennials are like this, but older attorneys are like that” or similar cliché?

For this issue, we did something different than your average trend piece on millennials: We talked to them.

In this issue, David Thomas sought out five lawyers just beginning their respective careers to find out what it really means to start a career in the 2010s. No bluff, no bluster and no stereotypes.

It turns out young lawyers care about what all lawyers care about. They want to be zealous advocates. They want to advance at work. They want to have lives and families and don’t want their children’s memories to be a cluttered home desk and promises they’ll play later.

Just like you.

They’re starting with unprecedented debt, however. One year of average in-state tuition at an ABA-approved public law school in 2013 cost 5½ times as much as that same year in 1985 — after adjusting for inflation.

Dave talked to lawyers across the spectrum. A big law partner whose career took a sidebar into Springfield. The owner of a small solo shop trying to make her way in family law. Lawyers hoping they can afford to continue representing the low-income clients who have the greatest need for the services a legal professional can provide.

You can read these young lawyers’ stories, and Dave’s article, starting on page 32.

Also in this issue is the 2017 Largest Law Firms Survey, our yearly look at who’s whom and what’s what in Illinois big law. Spoiler: Kirkland & Ellis is still a very large organization. For the rest of the survey results, you can turn to page 16.

(And a big thank you to the Kirkland attorneys who stayed late at the office to participate in our cover shoot.)

The thread running through all these stories is work — how and where people do it. So it’s only appropriate we look at the rules that determine and guide how we work.

Lauren Duncan examined how Illinois’ current political climate is affecting labor and employment bills from Springfield. She examined everything from paid sick leave to how injured athletes are protected and picked three bills that legal practitioners should be keeping an eye on. I chipped in, asking some of Chicago’s top experts how they think changes in Washington will affect the issue on a national level. Read more on page 24.

And we also have one of the lawyers behind a new writer’s museum, the ISBA’s renovated Springfield digs and an attorney delving into horror movies.

Check it out, won’t you?

Paul Dailing