There is no law that says your attorney has to be located anywhere. Theoretically they could work out of their house or their mother’s basement or a coffee shop.
When hiring a lawyer though you want to look for predictor’s of success. An attorney’s location can often be a telling sign.
I get why clients and lawyers often don’t want to come downtown to Chicago. It can be a grind and a hassle. Fortunately for clients you almost never actually have to come in to the City itself unless you want to or your case is going to trial in Chicago.
For lawyer it’s not that simple. For any work related injury in Cook County, the hearing location for the case will be in Chicago at the Thompson Center. That is smack dab in the middle of the Loop and across from main courthouse, The Daley Center. You know what else is there? Thousands of law firms.
Why are we all within walking distance of the courts? It’s because if you are handling these cases you are going to court. That could mean having to be there at 9 a.m. and then back and 1 p.m. and then back at 4 p.m. If your office is in Evanston or Northbrook or Schaumburg, etc. you can’t go back and forth from court to your office. That means you aren’t productive, can’t meet with clients and generally will have a challenge running a law practice.
In many cases when you see a suburban lawyer saying that they handle work comp cases it often means one of three things
- They don’t really do it, they just dabble in it.
- They will either send young associates to cover a lot of matters or avoid going to court unless it is absolutely necessary even if it’s not in the best interests of the client.
- Their practice is messy which leads to a lack of returned phone calls and lack of preparation.
All of these things are bad for a potential client. You have to look out what’s best for you. While you can get a suburban lawyer for a Cook County case and it may be more convenient for you, we suggest you think about what’s best in the long run for your case. Having an attorney who is in court almost every day and can easily go to court without it disrupting their life is best for you.
That doesn’t mean that every Chicago based attorney is good, it just means they fit one piece of the profile criteria you should consider.
Oddly enough, for court hearings in Wheaton, New Lenox, Waukegan, Geneva and other suburbs, 90% of the lawyers who attend those hearings are actually Chicago based. That is because unlike the City, those locations only have hearings a few days a month. The lawyers in those burbs don’t have enough business to just do work comp. So the attorneys with the best reputations tend to be in the City.
Is this confusing. It can be. We are happy to talk you about this or any other issue at any time for free. Fill out the form to the right or call the number at the top of the page for a free consultation.