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Ben Kimes

In the Spotlight with Ben Kimes

We’re excited to welcome Ben Kimes to the WilliamsMcCarthy family. Ben returned to the Rockford region after studying at the University of Illinois College of Law. He previously was a summer associate with WilliamsMcCarthy in 2022. We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to reintroduce Ben to our clients and the community by featuring him in this edition of “In the Spotlight.”

When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer?

I have known most of my life that I wanted to go to law school. It may be cheesy to say that I have wanted to do this since I was five years old, but that is the truth! My father is an attorney, so I grew up around the legal field and was always fascinated by it. I was able to work in different jobs as a teenager and young adult doing clerk work, and with each opportunity, it solidified my interest and passion for law.

How did you decide to focus your practice?

I am currently focused on the litigation side of the firm and decided to focus my practice on this area because I truly enjoy it. My first experience with litigation was during the summer of 2022 when I was a summer associate with WilliamsMcCarthy. I was able to get hands-on experience in the practice area, develop my research and writing skills, and learn the nuances of litigation. It was an invaluable experience to learn from our incredible team of litigation attorneys, and that experience ultimately made me want to pursue it as my focus.

What do you like most about practicing law at WilliamsMcCarthy LLP?

The people I work with everyday are the best part about WilliamsMcCarthy. We have a great workplace culture that pushes you to work hard in a collaborative environment where everyone is valued. Everyone has an open-door policy, and as I have begun to grow in my career, I have benefitted greatly from the wisdom and expertise shared with me by my colleagues. Being able to walk in and talk through whatever problem is at hand has allowed me to refine my knowledge in the field and allowed me grow closer with my colleagues.

What do you think best characterizes the way you practice law?

I am diligent and work hard to always make sure I am providing my clients with the best counsel possible. Whether it is researching a specific issue or answering one-off questions, I am going to give you a sound answer and explain why I gave that answer. I also take great pride in my writing and ensure that my research is exact.

If you were to give one piece of advice to someone looking for assistance in your practice area, what would it be?

This is general advice for anyone preparing to meet with an attorney: bring all the documents that are relevant (or that may be relevant) to the issue. It is common to overlook bringing the documents when you are meeting with your attorney, but this is critical to ensuring the litigation process runs smoothly from the beginning. Another piece of advice I would give is to know what your end goal is before entering litigation. If you don’t need to go to trial or if you want to settle, knowing what you want out litigation allows your attorney to know where to take your case and how to build a strategy around your goal. Make sure to tell your attorney right away what your end goal is so they will be able to effectively represent you.

Is there a personal or professional achievement of which you are most proud? If so, why?

I am proud that I graduated from law school. It was a lifelong goal and seeing all of my hard work pay off is something I can look back on and remind myself that I fulfilled my dream. There were a lot of challenges I faced, but I stuck with it and accomplished one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.

When you’re not at work, how do you enjoy spending your time?

I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends as much as I can. Whether it is playing basketball or going out on the golf course, any time I get to do something with the people I love is how I enjoy spending my time.

What’s something not a lot of people know about you?

I can solve a Rubik’s cube in under one minute. I learned how to do it by watching YouTube videos and practicing the key movements to solving the puzzle when I was younger. The secret is that you have to hit different check points as you move the cube and solve each side. It took me some time to learn it, but now it is something I will never forget because it is muscle memory.

What are your favorite things about our region?

My favorite thing is that there is always something happening. There are so many options, and you never run out of things to do. I had never been to the Rockford City Market until last summer and have enjoyed discovering all the great vendors there on Friday nights. Music in the Gardens at Anderson Japanese Gardens on Tuesday evenings is another event I like to attend. I am originally from Pecatonica, Illinois and I never realized how many activities and events are always happening in the region. I have been here for 25 years and am still discovering new things to do and explore.

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