Julia Jensen Smolka featured as Advocate of the Month!
ADVOCATE OF THE THE MONTH: Julia Jensen Smolka
In an effort to better-acquaint readers with Members of the Advocate Society, we offer “Advocate of the Month.” This month, we feature a Question and Answer with Julia Jensen Smolka, who engages in the private practice of law, as a Partner with DiMonte & Lizak, LLC, in Park Ridge. Julia serves as a Member of the Public Relations Committee of the Society.
Why are you a member of the Advocates Society?
I joined the Advocates Society for good, old-fashioned networking. I have to market myself and find my own business. As an Associate, now Partner at the law firm of DiMonte & Lizak, LLC, our founder, Chet Lizak was a past-president of the Advocates. He spoke highly of the organization and of the lifelong friendships and relationships he built at the Advocates. About eight years ago, I attended a meeting with him as his guest. The meeting had everything – free beer, free CLEs and free pierogi. I have been returning ever since.
Give us an example of how being a member of the Advocates Society empowered you as an attorney.
I enjoy the laid back opportunity to network and earn CLE at the general meetings. I also enjoy that I am able to volunteer for the group as I am able – in writing articles for the newsletter, or assist on the marketing committee or previously with the Christmas parties and this year’s Christmas Charity Drive. Plus being an Advocate is a powerful item to put on any resume or biography. Everyone knows who the Advocates are!
What are you most looking forward to most in the coming year, personally/professionally?
This year is going to be challenging and hopefully action-packed. I have been an attorney for twenty years. I assist business owners on all types of matters, including commercial contract and collection issues, debtor/creditor workouts and collections, bankruptcy and landlord tenant issues. So like so many other attorneys, COVID has stumped us as to what is going to happen. I was ready for the predicted onslaught of bankruptcies, but 2020 had the lowest filings nationally of bankruptcies since 1985. I am taking frantic calls from small landlords who cannot afford to wait for the residential eviction moratorium to end. So like so many attorneys, I am reading every executive order from the governor, the Supreme Court and the local courts, so I can be of service to my clients. Personally, my husband is a teacher, and I have two daughters in grade school, and we are just all hanging in there, trying to make the most of the forced family time while not driving each other crazy. I look forward to warmer weather, seeing some live music and taking a trip or two.
Tell us something interesting about you.
I have been at the same firm for my entire practice – 20 years. The firm is in Park Ridge, right off the Kennedy Expressway. I grew up and lived walking distance away, in Norwood Park. When I saw the job posting in the Loyola Law School newsletter the summer while I was studying for the bar, I applied even thought they were looking for someone with 1-3 years of experience. In my cover letter (remember those) I put down that “I could practically see your front door from my window” That got me the interview. Later they joked that they needed someone close by to shut off the security alarm when it was tripped overnight.
Julia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sto lat!