Come together

Opening Statement

John McNally

Managing editor

November 2019

Allow me to get personal for a moment.

If you read my first Opening Statement back in our September issue, you may remember how I noted that I am excited to become a father for the first time around Christmas or New Year’s Day. But the baby had other ideas.

During a routine doctor’s visit, my wife’s OBGYN saw signs in our baby she felt warranted a hospital admission for in-depth monitoring.

One night into the hospital, turned into two, which turned into four. She spent six days in the hospital. She came home for a week, but during a follow-up appointment the doctors saw more concerning data and admitted her again. A few hours later, the decision was made to deliver our boy two months early.

I’m happy to report my son, Cian, and my wife are doing great. He’ll be in the NICU for an extended period of time, but he’s doing wonderful. We are handling the obstacles that come our way, and we have an incredible family supporting us.

I also can’t thank my colleagues here at Law Bulletin Media enough for their support provided to me and my family. I also must give a grateful thank you to the doctors and nurses working together to create the best plan for my wife and son.

The collaboration I saw between the group of maternal-fetal doctors during my wife’s hospital admissions was impressive. They worked together as a group to review all the data and arrived at a decision best for mother and son.

Watching those doctors work together got me thinking about my time here at the magazine.

When I started here at Chicago Lawyer, I knew it was paramount that I get out of the office as much as I could to meet with firms and with the people in the profession.

I thought the best way to do that would be to take over the Spaces stories. It would allow for me to understand how firms think of themselves and how they want to present themselves to clients.

With few exceptions, collaboration is king. Firms want to get people out of their offices and working as groups to provide clients with the best service as they can. Our cover story starting on Page 16 is the in-depth look at our Firm Office Spaces survey.

The data provided by firms throughout the city backs up my belief about collaboration. Make sure to check out all the results from the survey as well as some thoughts from real estate professionals who help firms find the perfect home.

Doing the work

I also want to highlight the final two editorial pieces in this issue. First, we have a Pro Bono Focus on Page 49 about three Nixon Peabody attorneys that passionately fought for the rights of two transgender women in Iowa.

I was struck by this exchange from attorney F. Thomas Hecht to colleague and Iowa native Tina B. Solis.

“How would you like to get into a difficult fight in your home state?” he asked.

“I would like nothing more,” she responded.

Finally, I was sifting through some archived issues and saw that Chicago Lawyer used its last page for a Closing Statement. I think the symmetry between this Opening Statement section to the Closing Statement was perfect.

Also, we had the ideal story to relaunch this page because of Jill Webb, the principal attorney at Law Office of Jill M. Webb.

Webb uses her free time and energy on charitable work for World Bicycle Relief. The charity raises money to provide special bikes for girls in rural Africa so they can safely bike to school. These bikes provide transportation that will cut down on the girls’ commute so they can still have time to help their families after school.

Make sure to check out Webb and World Bicycle Relief’s story on Page 50.

This month was a hectic one for me and my great team at Chicago Lawyer. I appreciate all the help they provided me.

Now, if my son would just cooperate!