As Sarah LeRose studied to become a Chicago lawyer, she planned to work at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office upon graduation. But once she started working as a law clerk at her father’s boutique probate law firm, that plan shifted. She quickly fell in love with probate law and joined his team as an associate attorney after passing the Illinois bar exam in 2014.
“It’s funny because it was an area of law I never thought I would practice in,” Sarah said. “It definitely wasn’t planned.”
Sarah, her father, Leonard, and longtime legal assistant, Cindy, are the forces behind the Law Office of Leonard J. LeRose Jr., Ltd. For the past two years, they chose to office at Amata Law Office Suites, Chicago’s first legal community of more than 700 attorneys and seven Class-A downtown offices.
Leonard has practiced probate law in the Chicago area for more than 35 years, specializing in decedent’s estates, guardianships and estate cases for minors. Sarah focuses on contested guardianships as well as estate litigation and administration. Both Sarah and Leonard serve older clients, minors and those with mental or developmental disabilities, an aspect of the work they find most appealing.
“You’re taking some of the most vulnerable people … who can’t really defend themselves,” Sarah said. “It’s nice to be their voice because they may not have one or know what’s going on.”
Since joining the firm, Sarah has been elected to the Illinois State Bar Association Assembly, the “supreme policy-making body of the Association,” and the Illinois State Bar Association Board of Governors for Cook County. She was also named an emerging lawyer by Law Bulletin Media, an accolade reportedly given to fewer than 2% of Illinois lawyers who are under 40 years of age or have been practicing for 10 years or fewer. But Sarah’s most meaningful achievements are the times when she and her dad have returned property to older individuals who have been financially exploited.
“Any time when we can correct something that’s been really wronged for somebody, that’s always pretty rewarding,” she said.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 90% of American businesses are family-owned or controlled. While running a law firm with family members can be enjoyable, various factors, such as the inability to separate work and personal life, can put a strain on family dynamics. Experts cite communication as a top tip for running a successful family business, which is a strength for Sarah and Leonard.
As a father-daughter team, they spend plenty of time together. Before the COVID-19 pandemic surged, they made daily joint court appearances. Now, they call to confer with each other at least 10 times per day.
“We get along really well,” Sarah said. “Even on the bad days, we can speak honestly and still be okay by the end of the day.”
When things get hectic, Amata’s amenities help their relationship run even smoother. The on-demand live receptionists and experienced paralegal team compliment longtime assistant Cindy’s work of answering phones, scanning documents and more. The fact that their Class-A downtown office is just steps away from the Circuit Court of Cook County is an “amazing” convenience too. Before Amata, their firm was located in the south suburbs, creating a daily, hour-long commute to court.
Amata allows attorneys to easily upgrade or downgrade office space as needed. Sarah and Leonard chose offices down the hall from each other, making it convenient to discuss something by simply walking over. For Sarah, it’s truly a “collaborative environment.”
Don’t let work-related stress ruin family relationships. Amata strives to eliminate lawyers’ daily stress so you can spend more time with family and practicing law. Call us or visit our website and take an online or in-person tour of one of our seven Class-A law firm office spaces to learn how our legal support and live reception services allow your business to run smoother and help keep your relationships intact.