Featured Attorney Profile: James Shapiro
James A. Shapiro, P.C.
As a retired Cook County judge and state criminal defense attorney for more than 15 years, Judge James A. Shapiro (ret.) knows and understands the processes and details of the Circuit Court of Cook County better than anyone. Judge Shapiro (ret.) assures all clients an individualized plan followed through with the necessary aggression and determined approach, thus maximizing your chances of winning.
Hon. James Shapiro (ret.) is currently the primary attorney and owner of the Law Office of James A. Shapiro, P.C. in Chicago, Illinois. Judge Shapiro focuses mostly on criminal defense, with a minor concentration in arbitration, mediation, and civil litigation, where he also has a background. James attended Trinity College for his undergraduate degree, and received his J.S. from the oldest law school in the country, William and Mary. However, Judge Shapiro is a unique featured attorney because he was on the bench for over five years.
Judge Shapiro's firm is extremely dedicated to being accessible to his clients. In fact, he is available seven days a week, 14-15 hours a day, including holidays. James is dedicated to providing a high level of care for his clients, who sometimes need more than just a 9-5 lawyer who shows up to court on time. Judge Shapiro cares deeply about each and every one of his clients and what happens to them, thus making him personally invested in every single case, and fastidious in his approach to obtaining the optimal outcome for his clients.
James Shapiro’s experience not only comes from private practice, but from working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for six and a half years, and serving as a judge for five additional years. You can read a lot of Mr. Shapiro’s impressive accolades on his website, here.
“What are some common legal misconceptions shared amongst your clients?”
“Well, the first is that a lot of people believe I can guarantee results as opposed to efforts. It would not only be impractical to guarantee a certain result, it would be unethical for me to do so. What I can guarantee is my effort; that I will put forth my best and try to achieve a good outcome. Ironic story: I recently got a touching thank you email from the mother of a client who got a pretty bad result in a different state (I know I would have gotten him a much better result here in Illinois). despite the bad result, she thanked me for how hard I worked for her son. It was a really lovely, moving note.”
“What was the biggest challenge in starting your own law practice?”
“Obviously getting the entire business started and opened is hard, and I did it all myself--as a solo practitioner. I have administrative help that is invaluable, but managing a business by yourself and getting it off the ground yourself is challenging. It’s also hard to find quality legal help, but thankfully I no longer have that problem.”
“Are you involved in the local community?”
“Yes. I’m on the board of the Rosecrance Foundation, which is a substance abuse rehabilitation facility that helps a lot of people here in the local community, including at least one of my clients. I am also on the board of the Anti-Defamation League in Chicago, where I help in the battle against hate crime. I do pro bono work regularly for a group that primarily serves the Polish community. The group helps those who can’t afford legal services.”
“Do you have any hobbies outside of being a lawyer?”
“Well when I get some free time I do like to play golf, occasionally tennis, and hang out with friends.” We had a good laugh about this because of the long hours James works when he is involved with numerous cases.
“What would you say is your strongest source of new clients?”
“I get a lot of referrals from lawyers who don’t practice criminal defense. Occasionally I will get a referral from a nonlawyer who has a friend in trouble.”
I was surprised to hear this from Mr. Shapiro, as his website design looks amazing. You can view it here: judgeshapirolaw.com. What I’ve gathered from our conversation is that Judge Shapiro does work mostly from referrals, but understands the importance of having an extremely user friendly and educational website for those who are referred to him. Just because someone refers you doesn’t mean that the client will actually hire you. If they do their research on you and aren’t happy with what they find, they might not hire you, which is not a problem for Judge Shapiro. His website is a testament to the effort he puts forth in everything he does, making him an excellent choice for a criminal defense attorney in Chicago, Illinois.