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Corey T. Hickman

Corey T. Hickman

By gaining research, writing, and problem solving skills at Northern Law, Corey T. Hickman was able to become a successful litigator who guides his clients through the process of righting wrongs and has gained knowledge on a variety of areas of business.

What have you been up to since your time here at Northern Law? Immediately after law school, I began work at Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP, a firm specializing in complex commercial litigation and professional liability matters. The firm has since been acquired by the international law firm, Cozen O’Connor. I am currently an associate in Cozen O’Connor’s business litigation group, and handle all kinds of litigation matters, with an emphasis on professional liability and restrictive covenants.

What is your current project? I work on a large number of cases at any one time. Currently, one of my more interesting matters involves the defense of a mortgagee of vacant property, on which the plaintiff suffered injuries resulting from a fire. The main issue to be resolved is whether a mortgagee has a duty to protect third parties from harm on vacant mortgaged property where no foreclosure proceedings have been commenced.

Why did you become an attorney? Laws regulate every area of business, whether it be insurance brokerage, securities, small businesses, etc. Many of these areas of business were completely foreign to me prior to becoming a lawyer. Becoming a lawyer meant immersing myself in countless fields that I never would have otherwise known about. I became a lawyer for precisely this reason--to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the business world.

What are your professional goals? My most important goal is to continue building my skills as an attorney. While I have had great opportunities so far, including successfully litigating a case through trial, there are always opportunities to improve.

How did Northern Law prepare you for your work? Northern Law taught me excellent research and writing skills that are the foundation for every lawyer’s practice. Further, Northern Law provided many opportunities for practical experience to help students understand the practice of law in the real world, including litigations skills and professional ethics courses, as well as judicial internships.

What is your favorite memory of your time in law school? My favorite memories of law school are the times spent with new friends. Northern Law’s biggest benefit is the small class sizes and close-knit community it provides. I had an opportunity to meet all of my classmates and develop friendships that will last a lifetime.

What is your advice to current law students? First, pay attention and work as hard as you can during the first year. The first year is far and away the most important year of law school, as you learn basic substantive law and learn how to research and write. These are the skills that will drive your career. Second, aggressively seek internships and other opportunities during law school. School alone cannot adequately prepare you for the real world practice of law. View as many depositions, motion hearings and trials as you can. This experience is invaluable.

What is your advice to individuals thinking about starting law school? My advice to those considering law school: be sure that being an attorney is truly something that you will be passionate about. The cost and time of law school is not to be taken lightly. Law school exposes you to an entirely new type of thinking and analysis, which will require long hours and hard work to master. While it can be truly rewarding in the end, make sure you are up for the challenge before committing to law school.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career so far? The greatest challenge of my career has been learning on the fly. Northern Law did a great job of teaching me how to practice law, but the classroom can only teach so much. The actual practice of law involves so much more, including strategy considerations, and building rapport with the attorneys in your own office as well as with opposing counsel and judges.

What has been most rewarding about your career so far? I have had the opportunity to litigate cases on behalf of some wonderful people who have truly been wronged. Guiding these people through the legal process is extremely rewarding. Seeing the relief of these clients after their case is successfully resolved is my favorite part of the job.

This interview was conducted in Winter 2016. 

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Class Year: 2014

Current title and position: Associate Attorney, Cozen O'Connor
Chicago, IL

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