Michelle Adams
Lawyer, Entrepreneur and Coach

Bio

About Michelle

For as long as I can remember I have been particularly good at something: solving problems. As a litigator I tackled big problems for big businesses. Then I had to figure out how to solve the problem of wanting to transition away from litigation and start something new. Running a creative business I also learned that even small businesses can develop big problems. I have the experience to help you solve your problems and get you where you need to go: which is a life and work you love.

About Michelle Adams

Legal Background:

From working at the prestigious Connelly, Mustes & Schroeder, to being a founding member in both Schroeder, Adams & Swatek and Adams Swatek, LLC, Michelle represented retailers, business owners, doctors, lawyers and contractors in lawsuits for over 20 years.  She served as lead trial counsel, chosen by companies such as Nautilus Insurance Group and Pro-Assurance, to represent its insureds in complex legal matters.  She was also chosen to be a lead trial attorney for a Captive Insurance Group and served as the Board's attorney advising on Risk Management issues.  Michelle has conducted thousands of depositions and tried cases to verdict in many counties throughout the State of Illinois.  Primary Practice areas as a defense litigator included:  Medical Malpractice, Premises Liability, Construction Negligence, Tort Defense and Business Litigation.  Michelle served as managing partner and in that capacity grew two seven figure boutique law firms, scaling them with the systems and processes that is requires to grow a business of that size. One of the primary firm attorneys for all client contact and legal billing, Michelle directed firm case management and trained all associates and paralegals.  

The Law scares people only because they don’t understand it or believe it’s bad. However, laws are meant to protect both people and business. Having someone who has trained in the law as an expert is important to using the law as a shield. I will always be grateful for the twenty-two years I spent as an expert in defense litigation because it has given me such unique perspective and the ability to analyze and anticipate problems.

 
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Education

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
Juris Doctor, 1992

University of Illinois, Urbana
B.A., Political Science, 1989

Bar Admissions

• Illinois

Entrepreneurial background:

In 2011 Michelle became involved with a small creative food business which she helped to found and grow to a highly regarded catering business in the wedding industry, retail space, and online shop that ships nationwide. Michelle decided to leave litigation practice in 2014 to focus on her work at The Sugar Path as CEO, and to start a solo legal practice for a better balanced life. She sold her law firm interest to her partner and forged ahead to tackle something new.

As the CEO of a food business, Michelle had to learn new skills: website development, graphic design, online marketing, social media management, creating customer experiences, and even POS systems. The Sugar Path grew its local exposure with the opening of its retail space and feature on WGN Chicago’s Best. It grew in national exposure when it developed a product for shipping nationwide and won Barbara Corcoran’s Small Business Award in 2015. It has been recognized as a leading wedding vendor and has been featured in dozens of national online publications. It has also served thousands of customers, including celebrities such as Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy, Henry Winkler and more. . .

After scaling The Sugar Path, Michelle decided her next act would be a legal and business consulting practice to help guide entrepreneurs. As Michelle was growing The Sugar Path she found resources lacking and learned a lot of things the hard way. She formed Adams Law, LLC. as a solo legal consutling practice to merge her business and legal talents and provide legal services for creative entrepreneurs, business owners, retailers, professionals, online merchants and sellers of all kinds.   Michelle trained as a neutral mediator with Northwestern University and trained as an arbitrator with the Cook County Arbitrator program. She began offering mediation services to her business clients.

In 2018 Michelle added coaching for lawyers and female entrepreneurs. As a serial entrepreneur, she is still operates as CEO of the The Sugar Path and is always searching for exciting adventures to participate in.

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What transitioning from doing the same thing for twenty-two years to an entrepreneurial journey has taught me:

It is not easy to make that transition. Not at all. But once you get on the other side, it is so worth it!

Michelle Adams Consulting & Coaching:

I didn’t dislike practicing defense law—-in fact, I loved it. But after so many years of doing the same thing I burnt out on it and it came time for a change. For me, I needed more freedom to do the things in life I hadn’t done because of my litigation schedule. In looking at what I had accomplished I realized that I had over twenty years of advising clients and eight years of a food start-up with retail and online shops and wedding industry experience. All of that qualified me as an expert business and legal consultant.

As I began to help my entrepreneurial clients I realized that they didn’t need a ton of legal work such as those involved in litigation may, rather, they were lacking the roadmap to get them to their goal of success. I have that map. . .

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Coaching

I became passionate about coaching to give other entrepreneurs the road map to success. This includes attorneys who want to leave their jobs and create a business but don’t know where to start or how to do it, or attorneys who need better skills to start a practice of their own or achieve partnership. I love to teach and to give back to my profession. It took me YEARS to become an expert. It is my passion to help others achieve their goals as quickly as possible.

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In the middle of my successful career I began to feel the effects of stress, boredom and restlessness. I began to practice Meditation and Mindfulness---which started a journey on many different paths as I flexed my creative passions. . .from helping to found a bakery and retail shop to designing websites to becoming immersed in the wedding industry to learning photography and becoming a writer. I feel happy and blessed to have taken the path here. That path is inspiration and creative inspiration can conquer feelings of stress or boredom, or even the burnout that many professionals feel after years of practice. Inspiration led me here to this new journey. I would love it if you join me. It is so important that we feed our bodies, minds and souls to be the best entrepreneurs we can be. If you need coaching, just visit the coaching tab on this website.

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With tools, strategies and community lawyers and entrepreneurs can grow their skills and businesses, or rewrite their story and create something new. I can’t wait to see where inspiration leads you too.

 

My journey continues to get better: