We wanted to serve southern Illinois and Fairview heights presented a really convenient location. What a lot of folks outside the area don’t realize is, the metro east region; Fairview Heights, O’Fallon, Edwardsville, this area tends to be sort of the big city for a lot of folks in small towns throughout southern Illinois. People as far away as Carmi, Marion, Murphysboro. If you come up here to Fairview Heights around the St. Clair Square Mall, any Christmas holiday season from about November to January, sometimes even February, you’re going to see cars backed up for miles coming from all over rural towns in Illinois.
And so, we knew it was convenient to people in southern Illinois. It’s a place that they’re willing to go and they know how to find us, but also it’s not far from St Louis. So for our clients from over the river in downtown or other parts around, South County, West County, it’s not that far a trek just to stay on I-64 and come over here to Fairview Heights. And so that played a big role in our decision to put the office here.
I think that’s … the point of accessibility is definitely important. And just from a practical standpoint, we all live in this general area. I live a little bit farthest away up in Hamel, so my drive’s about 30 minutes, but it still keeps us in the same area. And I think most of our clients are coming to this point and they’re familiar with the area.
I’m a local boy. I’m born and raised in Collinsville. So for me, to set up shop here in southern Illinois just made absolute sense for me. Plus the firm that we had come from previously, we had a number of clients where the injuries were based in southern Illinois. So it simply made sense for convenience sake for those clients that we remained near where we were before.
But for me, it’s also because since we have a broadening practice over in Missouri as well, that we are 10, 15 minutes from the border so that we can also handle the Missouri cases on the St. Louis side, because there are a number of cases where, say, the injury occurred in Illinois but the employer is located in Missouri or vice versa. Well, in those situations, you actually have concurrent jurisdiction in both states. So you want to make sure that you can file for both states since each one may have separate benefits, some that benefits may be better than the other.
And so, by being so close to the border, we can handle the Illinois cases, the Missouri cases and the ones that are the concurrent jurisdiction. But for me it was also nice being this close to Highway 64, that it was just so easy for our clients to identify where we’re at and to find us, which to me is sometimes the most difficult part for attorneys, if their offices are hidden somewhere and we want to make sure that we are accessible to our clients and they can always find us and that they always know where we are at.