This month, the law firm of Carter & Tani turned 25 years old! How can that be?
In January of 1991, we opened Carter & Tani in a 3-room office on Roosevelt Road in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, Illinois. We didn't have a secretary, so we had to do all our own clerical and administrative work. We bought new desk top computers, which we had to learn how to use. It was definitely a new skill for both of us. Christine remembers seeing all this strange-looking equipment and wondering how to even turn it on. We answered our own phones, and we had a "live" (off-site) answering service to catch phone calls we couldn't answer. Other communication was by "snail mail" and a fax machine with rolled up paper. We even did our own office cleaning, to keep our overhead costs down.
We had to start from scratch in terms of clients, having both worked in-house prior to starting Carter & Tani. We did almost everything back then - including divorce, criminal, litigation, estate planning, real estate, and probate. However, our intent was always to concentrate on franchise law, since we both had many years of experience working for a national franchise company. It just took time, but we have managed to build our practice to one that serves franchisors nationwide, and Illinois franchisees representing dozens of different franchise brands. Now almost 90% of our revenue is from performing franchise services. We are truly fortunate to be able to work with wonderful clients in a variety of businesses, and to practice law in an area of law that we continually find interesting and challenging.
We both had a pre-school child in 1991. We were able to work flexible schedules, so that we could spend time with our young daughters, while covering our work demands from home as necessary. In many ways, as working mothers, we truly did "have it all." It wasn't easy, and we had to juggle many demands of home, family and community responsibilities. But we managed to keep our sanity, and even our humor.
And now, 25 years later, we can look back with great satisfaction to how much we have accomplished. We celebrate our work and lives every day. We give thanks to all of our clients, business associates, employees, and family who have made this milestone possible. We also look forward to continued success in the practice of franchise law at Carter & Tani and continued growth of the firm in the future.
Doris & Christine