Shalom: Welcome back to Get Down to Business. I’m thrilled to be joined in studio by the dynamic duo, but I’m thrilled to be joined by Matt Willens, personal injury attorney—rated among the top personal injury attorneys in Chicago. Matt, welcome to the program.
Matt: Thanks for having me.
Shalom: And you’ve brought a friend along?
Matt: My daughter and as of today, publicist, Emily Willens.
Shalom: Fantastic. And we talked about family businesses earlier in the program so I know you guys have a lot to talk about on your ride home. So Matt, let’s talk start by talking a little bit about what you do, and perhaps let’s talk about what you don’t do as well. Because you are an attorney, but you are not, I don’t believe you claim to be a jack-of-all-trades. You are very focused on what you do, and you do it really, really well. Tell us a little bit about it.
Matt: That’s correct. So we’re a personal injury trial law firm—emphasis on trial—because there’s a lot of personal injury lawyers out there, but not a lot of lawyers who are willing to step into the ring when necessary. So that’s all we do. We represent people who are in car accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice. But call me to do your real estate closing or for your traffic ticket, and I’m going to point you in a different direction. I’ll point you in the right direction—but I’m not going to be able to handle that myself because we’re strictly focused on what we do best, and that’s personal injury law.
Shalom: But by the way, that is very important. We talked about networking earlier in the program and I know that you pride yourself on that—networking—that’s how you and I got to know each other. You pride yourself on knowing the other attorneys that can be a resource and help. So walk me back to probably just under the past five years ago—when you finished law school—Oh, I’m just kidding. Matt’s been around for a little while. But tell me why did you choose to go into this practice area?
Matt: Well, a couple of things. One, when I was in law school, I was probably naïve—I still might be naïve, and I thought lawyers–
Shalom: I’ll ask your daughter that.
Shalom: Lawyers try cases. That’s what they do. They’re in the courtroom, they’re making arguments. So that’s, there’s a million things you can do, I didn’t really recognize that. But I knew I wanted to try cases, and I wanted to control my own destiny. I didn’t want to be one of those guys who has to bill two thousand hours a year—and you know, that was your job was to see how much you can work. So I felt, again, I wanted to try cases, and if I did good, then I’d have success. If I didn’t do good, I wouldn’t have success and I was okay with that.
Shalom: Interesting. And your tagline is “Never settle for less.” Tell me what that means to you.
Matt: Well, so, when people hire us, we make a commitment to them to maximize the value of their case. If the insurance companies who are representing the corporations or the hospitals or the doctors aren’t willing to pay us what we think the full value of the case is, we’re ready to step up to the plate and go to trial. I think the insurance companies know that, which enables us to settle cases for more. So it’s our belief that the insurance companies—and take it from an old insurance company executive, where I worked for a couple of years—the insurance companies know who will step into the ring. They know a firm like mine will step into the ring, which guarantees that the cases are going to settle for more.
Shalom: Sir, we won’t have time to go through all the types of cases that you are able to take on, but all of those examples are listed on the website, which we’ll be sure to link to. But Matt, you’ve prided yourself on, again that network—but also the education—and I know that on your website you’ve got some videos that are out there, you’ve been quoted in the media quite a bit, and you share your knowledge and you, to your point earlier, you don’t take on all cases. What does it mean to be a trial lawyer?
Matt: Well, a trial lawyer, I think a lot of people call themselves trial lawyers. A trial lawyer is a guy, who, when push comes to shove, will get in the ring with the bully and put it in front of a jury’s eyes and let the jury decide. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. We win more than we lose, but again, you have to be willing to get into the ring with that bully. We’ll call the bully in and these instances, the big multi-billion dollar insurance companies whose job it is to collect premiums from people like you and me, and when it comes time to pay off your claim value, they don’t want to do that. Nor do I blame them. So a trial guy is a guy who will actually step up and try cases when he needs to.
Shalom: And that goes back to that point of “Never settle for less.” Bottomline: You know you’re good at it and you know that you can help your clients. And speaking of clients, you got a lot of very, very, very impressive testimonials on your website from happy clients, clearly, that you’ve done very, very well for whether they’ve fallen into that category of personal injury, medical malpractice… You’ve been able to help quite a few people and you should feel very, very proud. So folks who want to learn more about the practice, get in touch. Whether it’s about a specific case or again about networking and ways to get to know a little more about the firm. How can they get ahold of you?
Matt: I think the best way is through the website: www.willenslaw.com, or call us 312-957-4166. I’ll take your phone call. You know, I wouldn’t be in the people business if I didn’t like people, so you know, call us. I’m glad to speak with you on the phone, meet me for coffee, meet me for lunch. All about helping people.
Shalom: That’s right. And final question. In terms of practice area, I know that we’re in Cook county, but geographically, where do you take on cases?
Matt: Have case, will travel. We’ve tried cases in all over. Several of the Illinois counties, in fact I had a record verdict in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, years ago on a medical malpractice case. So if it’s the right type of case, we’ll travel for it.
Shalom: Fantastic. So I turn now to your publicist to see if she has any shout-outs for you, and how did dad do?
Emily: Dad did pretty well. He spoke clearly and explained a lot.
Shalom: Okay. Maybe you’ll follow in his footsteps and—I always love it when firms are—Willens & Willens, any chance of that happening?
Matt: Well, if it’s the route she wants to go. It’s a tough way to make a living, but if that’s what she wants, I’ll support her full-heartedly.
Shalom: Haha! That’s wonderful. Well thank you Willens & Willens, the wonderful dynamic duo for joining us in the studio. Coming up, we’ve got tips, advice, information coming up for you on Get Down to Business, you don’t want to miss it. You’re listening to the show all about small business, jobs and entrepreneurship, you’re listening to Get Down to Business. I’m Shalom Klein and we’ll be right back.