In 1983, six of our lawyers formed Freeborn & Peters LLP with a goal to create a meaningful environment where everyone could provide the highest value service. Today from our Chicago headquarters, more than 200 professionals assist clients with their legal and business matters across the country and often across borders. That’s what our six founding lawyers had in mind when they formed Freeborn in 1983. Every day, our 200+ professionals create a meaningful workplace that leads to better ways to help our clients—and our people—succeed. When we say, “Your future is our purpose,” we back it up with action!
For many, core values are an exercise in meaningless “firm happy-speak.”
When we say, “Your future is our purpose,” this is what it means:
- Integrity: We do the right thing for the right reasons
- Caring: Our “family” is respectful, loving and caring
- Effectiveness: We demand of ourselves and of each other: Excellence, Creativity and Execution
- Teamwork: Through open and honest communication and cooperation, we make and support decisions in the firm’s best interest, subordinating self-interest
- Commitment: We take personal responsibility to do “whatever it takes” to solve even the toughest problem
Ask people in any position at Freeborn. Chances are they will tell you at least one story of how our core values created better results for a client - or them. These ideals mean enough for us to give an annual award to the person - at any level - who best exemplifies our values.
Different Backgrounds and Cultures Make Us Stronger
This is how we live that belief:
- Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee identifies and acts on opportunities to recruit, hire, develop, promote and retain the most qualified people, representing different races, ethnic groups, genders, sexual orientations, ages, religions, national origins and abilities.
- We celebrate diversity by creating experiences around Hispanic, Black, Women’s, and Asian and Pacific Islander history months with guest speakers, themed gatherings and education.
- Our diverse community sponsorships include supporting diversity programs with the Chicago Asian American Bar Association, Vault/Minority Corporate Counsel Association Career Fair, Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Firms, and the National Bar Association.
- Our Women’s Leadership Council provides marketing and development opportunities for women attorneys through internal and external events. Our firm includes 26% women lawyers, and our staff is 53% female.
- Our flexible work arrangement policy gives people the time to address work/life issues.
- Our minority scholarships and work/study programs support diverse groups, such as our Chicago Scholars and Cristo Rey Work/Study programs.
Freeborn’s lawyers and staff are active in pro bono work and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Our Pro Bono Policy allows lawyers to set aside 50 hours of billable time a year, with more available if needed. Many of our lawyers exceed this. Each year, we provide an average of 2,000 hours of legal work to the community: a donation of roughly $700,000.
The Pro Bono Committee coordinates these activities, reaching out to enlist volunteer attorneys for pro bono clients. Many of our lawyers have their own ideas and causes, based on their interests and relationships. Either way, we deliver the same diligence, passion and excellence to our pro bono clients as our paying clients have come to expect.
Here are some of the worthwhile organizations our activities support:
- Inspiration Corporation - One of our partners serves as an unpaid General Counsel for this organization, which helps disadvantaged people become self-sufficient.
- Interfaith House - A partner serves on the board of this organization, which assists ill and injured homeless individuals restore their health and achieve independence.
- The Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago - This is the principal provider of free legal services within our community.
- Lawyers for the Creative Arts - This nonprofit organization helps financially eligible clients in all areas of the arts.
- Rebuilding Together - A partner is a board and Executive Committee member for this group, which builds affordable housing and restores communities.
- Chicago Scholars Foundation - A partner is a board member for this organization, which helps underprivileged young people prepare for and successfully complete a college education.
- Cristo Rey Work-Study Program - we participate in a program that allows high school students to work at the Firm, earn money for their private high school tuition and be positioned to attend college. Our participation in this program is one way we give back for all that has been given to us and inspire young people to grow and develop their potential.
Saving Money While Saving Cases
That’s why we founded our in-house E-Discovery Lab in 2006. Since then, we have saved clients millions of dollars in discovery charges compared with outside vendors. Some of this comes from our fee structure:
- No charge for hosting our clients’ data
- No gigabyte charge for processing data
- No per page tiff costs
In addition, we use the latest technologies:
- LAW Pre-Discovery – an advanced data culling and processing tool that reduces the volume of data to process and review
- Relativity – an advanced document review platform that drives down the cost of attorney review
- Netapp – a system that optimizes data storage resources and allows us to reduce our storage needs
We also pay attention to the other side’s documents. Our vigilance has uncovered data collection issues that led to favorable settlements for our clients.