WilliamsMcCarthy LLP traces its origins to 1932, when Karl Williams began his practice in Rockford. Mr. Williams soon formed a partnership with John McCarthy and John Kinley, an association that endured for nearly fifty years, until Mr. Williams' death. The firm of WilliamsMcCarthy LLP has grown to become one of the largest firms in the region, and has recently moved its headquarters to a new, state-of-the-art office in downtown Rockford. The firm also has its Ogle County office 30 miles south of Rockford in Oregon, Illinois.
Practice and Clientele
The firm has a general civil practice, emphasizing the representation of businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and governmental entities. Our clients include manufacturers, service providers, health care providers (including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, physician groups, and individual physicians), units of local government, real estate development companies and banking institutions. The firm counts among its clients many of Rockford's premier businesses and institutions, such as Chrysler Group LLC, Haldex Hydraulics Corporation, Rockford College, Rockford Memorial Hospital, the Rockford Mass Transit District, and the Rockford Metro Centre Authority. The firm also represents substantial numbers of individuals, primarily in the areas of business, estate and tax planning. An expanding litigation practice, both in the federal and state courts, includes significant amounts of insurance defense, employment discrimination law, civil rights, workers' compensation, and complex commercial litigation, and the firm also has a significant mergers and acquisition practice.
Rockford's economy has a large and diverse manufacturing base and an expanding service base. This economic environment creates a greater demand for sophisticated and specialized legal services than in many other cities of comparable size. Yet, the quality and diversity of the firm's practice within this environment allow an individuality and flexibility in each member's practice that typically is not found in larger firms.
The firm's size and informal structure facilitate a friendly and open atmosphere. Our Rockford offices are spacious and comfortable, and located within two blocks of the state and federal courthouses and the County Law Library. In addition to state-of-the-art infrastructure, our new offices feature scenic views of Rockford's river district and earned a Mayor's Arts Award in 2007 for its artistic contributions from some of Rockford's leading artists.
The firm has always been committed to the effective use of technology as an essential tool in the cost-efficient delivery of high quality legal services. The firm provides each attorney with an ergonomically designed PC work station in his or her office and access to a wide variety of effective online and print legal research materials, including access to Westlaw, RIA, BNA Tax Portfolios and IICLE Smartbooks. A highly competent support staff that includes a full-time office administrator and two paralegal assistants helps keep the office running smoothly.
Life Outside The Office
Among the advantages of practicing law outside of a major metropolitan area is the fact that billable hour expectations tend to be lower and commuting times shorter (five to fifteen minutes, for most members of the firm). That leaves the firm's attorneys with the time to pursue other interests, both professional and nonprofessional.
The firm has an excellent reputation for its service to pro bono and organized bar activities. Firm members are active in the county bar association and county bar foundation (including several members who have served as president of those organizations); firm members hold positions in the state bar association ranging from the assembly to chairing and serving on various committees; and one of our attorneys was a representative in the ABA House of Delegates. Associates are encouraged to observe this tradition by becoming active in the bar.
Firm members are also active with their families, schools, and communities. Many of our attorneys are actively involved in youth activities through youth sports leagues, churches, and other community organizations. The firm's attorneys also have a strong tradition of providing public service to the community through a wide variety of charitable and community service organizations.
Rockford also has an abundance of recreational and cultural opportunities. The community has an outstanding park district, with parks located throughout the community. The "crown jewel" of the park district consists of an eight-mile paved path along the banks of the Rock River which is a favorite route for running, walking, and biking, and which is scheduled for gradual lengthening. The local YMCA is located adjacent to this path and approximately eight blocks from our office, and many of our attorneys and staff use these facilities either before work or during their lunch hour. There are also numerous golf courses within Rockford, and the city has its own symphony orchestra, regional theater, dance company, art museum, natural history museum, and discovery center.
New Associates and Summer Associates
Summer associates benefit from broad exposure to the firm in a number of settings. An effort is made to provide summer associates with an opportunity to work with as many of the firm's attorneys as possible and to acquaint each of them with the different areas of the firm's practice. In addition to the time spent doing research and other assignments, the summer experience at WilliamsMcCarthy LLP may provide summer associates with opportunities to attend meetings with clients, view trial proceedings or hearings in various courts and administrative agencies, or observe depositions. In addition, summer associates are encouraged to take part in social and recreational activities with all attorneys. About half of the attorneys at WilliamsMcCarthy LLP received their job offers as a result of having worked at the firm as summer associates.
The firm's compensation to summer associates is very competitive compared to other public and private employers in the Rockford region, as is its compensation to new full-time associates. Attorneys who join WilliamsMcCarthy LLP as full-time associates also enjoy a generous benefit package including medical, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance, 401(k), and profit-sharing plans. The firm also reimburses its full-time associates' bar review costs and bar membership fees as well as providing resources for professional development and continuing legal education.
Although WilliamsMcCarthy LLP has a number of practice groups, we do not consider the firm to be rigidly departmentalized. That structure permits new associates the flexibility to work in all areas of the firm's practice. Where an associate has developed a particular area of interest he or she is generally allowed to emphasize that interest from the beginning of the associate's employment. After several years, associates naturally concentrate their practice, in accordance with their individual preferences and the firm's needs. WilliamsMcCarthy LLP has an excellent record with regard to offering its associates a place as a partner in the firm.
Inquiries and Interviews
WilliamsMcCarthy LLP is committed to a policy of continued growth. That means measured hiring of qualified candidates for associate positions and maintenance of a strong summer associate program. The firm invites inquiries from interested students of all law schools. Applicants will be informed of a decision or further interviews within three weeks, and students invited to the firm's offices will be fully reimbursed for their reasonable travel expenses. Students or attorneys interested in applying for a full-time position or our summer associate program should address their inquiries to Carol A. Hartline. We think our practice and our community offer a unique opportunity, and would welcome the chance to discuss it with you.
Attorney & Law Student Applications
Carol A. Hartline
P.O. Box 219
Rockford, IL 61105-0219
John E. Schafman
P.O. Box 219
Rockford, IL 61105-0219