Hickey Featured in “How I Made Practice Group Leader” Series
Partner Maggie Hickey discussed her path to becoming the leader of the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution and White Collar Defense and Government Investigations Practice Groups in the inaugural “How I Made Practice Group Leader” series published by Law.com.
Maggie said that the biggest surprise she experienced after becoming group leader was the breadth of attorneys she began to work with.
“Litigation and Dispute Resolution is the largest practice group at Schiff, so I am regularly in touch with lawyers and staff at every level across the firm and in every office. Open two-way communication is important to building strong relationships and teams. I often say my door is always open (given the pandemic it really means call my cell or let’s meet up on Zoom), and people have taken me up on that offer. That alone has helped me learn so much in such a short time in this role,” Maggie said.
Maggie joined Schiff in 2018 after a long career in government. She is a former Illinois Executive Inspector General, a former executive assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and prior to that, spent five years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division, Financial Crimes, and Special Prosecution Section.
Maggie partly attributes her prior leadership experience as what led to her promotions.
She said, “Upon arriving at Schiff, I quickly assimilated by participating and taking on leadership roles in several firmwide committees, such as diversity and recruiting. Within a year, I knew who everyone was. It also helped that I had three high-profile matters during my first year here, which required working with large teams across practices and getting to know my colleagues.”
In 2018, Maggie was tapped by the Chicago Board of Education to lead an independent review of the school district’s policies and procedures allegations that students were sexually abused by Chicago Public School employees. That same year, she was handpicked by multiple state legislators to investigate sexual harassment within all departments of the Office of the Speaker of the House in Illinois. In 2019, Maggie was appointed as the independent monitor to oversee implementation of the multi-year consent decree for the Chicago Police Department.
Maggie cited Schiff’s former managing partner, Marci Eisenstein, as one of her greatest influences that propelled her into leadership at the firm.
“Schiff Hardin’s former Managing Partner Marci Eisenstein, who was the second female boss I ever had, inspired me to take on a leadership role and to serve as an example for younger attorneys — men and women — who are coming behind me,” she said. “I have school-age kids at home, and I felt it was important to show associates and partners that you can balance the rigors and demands of a leadership position while also raising a family.”
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