Ebony Huddleston is the founder and managing attorney of The Law Office of Ebony R. Huddleston, P.C.
What’s your primary practice area?
Civil litigation and estate planning are my primary practice areas.
How has your practice evolved over the last few years?
In January 2018, I transitioned from the law firm where I had been employed for over 12 years and opened my own law firm. Within the last two years, I’ve met new challenges related to running a business along with the familiar business of practicing law.
Although the first year of my own practice was a bit daunting at times, I never doubted that I made the right decision to start my own firm. It really came down to a balance between work and life. Of course, being an attorney and managing the day-to-day operations of a growing law firm has its demands on my time, but the trade-off of being able to plan and manage my own schedule has its benefits and is very rewarding. I continue to enjoy practicing law and I’m able to spend time enjoying family and friends.
How can lawyers adapt to the changing legal profession?
The legal profession is changing just as people and cultures are changing. In order to adapt to the changing legal profession, we must be open to new thought processes, approaches to practicing law, as well as fresh and innovative methods and strategies of zealously advocating for our clients. We can do this by continuing to educate ourselves through continuing legal education courses and networking with others who can provide insight into vital areas of our profession.
One facet of the legal profession’s changing landscape is due to the growing popularity of social media. In order to adapt, it’s imperative to invest time into learning about how social media can impact our practice and then implementing changes necessary to use social media to our advantage.
Why is civility important to the practice of law?
Without the standard of civility imposed in the practice of law, our profession would be chaotic and exponentially more complicated to navigate. The level of professionalism and civility one practitioner shows to another increases positive outcomes for our clients, aids in the efficiency with which the courts operate and increases the faith and trust the general public has in the law and the profession.
Being civil toward one another, our clients and those who intersect our practice will reinforce the positive moral character jurists should exude. Although adversarial by nature, the practice of law can always be civil.
What advice do you have for young lawyers?
Take practicing law in stride. Work hard to master your craft, but be sure to always carve out time for yourself. Think of it this way, if you always focus on the needs and demands of others, you may lose sight of your personal needs. When you have downtime, be sure to do something for yourself that you enjoy. This will help you remember why you work so hard and devote so many hours to assisting the needs of others.
Remember, the practice of law is just that, practice. Because the laws change so quickly and clients’ needs vary, each case is an opportunity for you to learn something new about how to practice law and ultimately is a chance for you to learn about yourself. Be open to the new people, opportunities and experiences that the legal field inevitably will present. The legal arena is fluid because of the constant changing pace and face of the profession…be fluid with it.
Also, network with fellow practitioners and seek out a mentor or two. The relationships you build in the legal profession can be some of the most important and long-lasting relationships created. Others in the legal field can relate to your daily professional struggles and oftentimes provide realistic guidance and advice for handling certain cases or clients. Knowing that you can bounce ideas off of someone similarly situated as you is comforting and healthy.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend my free time with family and friends along with watching and attending sporting events.
Our Lawyer Spotlight recognizes attorneys throughout Illinois who are admired for their professionalism and civility. Check out more interviews with attorneys like Ebony Huddleston here.