Steven J. Seidman is the founder and partner of Seidman Margulis & Fairman LLP, a Chicago personal injury law firm.
How Steven became a lawyer. Steven’s father owned a building in Chicago that he leased to the State of Illinois for the Department of Unemployment Security. The alderman of the ward didn’t want this in his neighborhood.
“There was a concerted attempt to keep the lease from going through. My father’s attorney was able to keep the lease. Seeing how the ‘little guy’ prevailed despite the political landscape my father was against, drew me to practice law.”
While attending the University of Illinois, Steven worked as a clerk for a law firm. Every day, he saw clients coming in who had been taken advantage of in some way or another.
“I saw people were not well-versed in law and needed help. It motivated me to become an attorney.”
Steven ended up clerking for the same firm through law school.
Why Steven chose to practice personal injury law. In law school, Steven was able to get his temporary law license to practice as a law student. He worked at the DePaul University College of Law legal clinic.
He was able to go to court and help people on their cases. At the same time, he continued clerking for the same personal injury firm that first sparked his desire to pursue law school. From day one he was involved in injury cases.
Steven knew the practice of personal injury was for him when he clerked for a federal magistrate judge and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago. In those positions, he was exposed to other practices.
“Injury work always interested me because it involved contact with people at their worst times. What you can try to do for people is to help them through nightmares and attempt to bring some stability (including financial) to them.”
Steven’s philosophy for personal injury law. For Steven, “the size” of a case is not relevant. He understands that each matter is equally large and important to the individual experiencing it.
Additionally, Steven doesn’t shy away from taking a case to trial. “Sometime a jury or judge needs to make the decision.”
The origins of Seidman Margulis & Fairman LLP. Steven began his career at a busy personal injury firm. He was fortunate to get immediate trial experience. In fact, it was often “trial by fire” where Steven had to prepare a case with very little time.
“That experience was invaluable.”
He then moved onto a larger corporate firm where he built out the personal injury section. He was able to practice his own philosophy when it came to injury cases.
Thirty-five years ago, he founded his own firm, which today is known as Seidman Margulis & Fairman LLP. “I have tried to instill a philosophy that integrity and hard work are cornerstones of what we do.”
The highlight of Steven’s workday. “No day is the same and every day is challenging from many different perspectives. The ability to solve problems and be involved with people is very satisfying.”
Steven in the community. Steven serves on the board of trustees of American Heroes Group, which deals with veteran issues. “Veterans served our country and made it what it is today. They are now faced with myriad legal issues daily. It’s my honor to help where I can.”
Steven’s proudest accomplishment. For Steven, he feels most accomplished while helping the “little guy.” I have been blessed with the ability to help working people and those injured through no fault of their own. That ability is the greatest accomplishment that verdicts cannot measure.”
Steven outside the office. “My family is everything to me and any extra time I have is spent with them.”