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Law practice, service efforts leave Downers Grove native Kevin O'Flaherty little time for sleep

Suburban Life's Best Under 40 | Kevin O'Flaherty

Kevin O'Flaherty is one of Suburban Life's "Best Under 40" for 2015.
Kevin O'Flaherty is one of Suburban Life's "Best Under 40" for 2015.

Kevin O’Flaherty grew up in Downers Grove, a town where his parents owned a dental practice for 30 years and where the law firm he founded in 2011 now operates.

“My parents were successful in making their clients and employees happy, and they taught me what they knew about running a good service business,” said O’Flaherty, who now lives in Darien. “My practice is basically the legacy of their dental practice.”

The 33-year-old attorney attended University of Iowa for his undergrad studies and graduated in 2007 from Chicago Kent Law School. After working for nearly five years for a small firm in Lansing, he established O’Flaherty Law with three attorney partners, including O’Flaherty, and two secretaries.

“It’s something I always wanted to do,” O’Flaherty said.  

The firm now has 14 employees – five attorneys total and the rest support and business development staff. Its focus is estate planning, business representation, litigation, divorce, criminal law, bankruptcy, probate, guardianship and real estate “and anything else that falls within the cracks.”

“We strive to offer the personalized service of a small firm while still having the manpower of a slightly larger firm,” O’Flaherty said.

Although his specialty is in complex estate planning, nowadays as CEO he finds he is more focused on the management side of the business.

O'Flaherty founded and hosts the podcast and videocast, in which he interviews business owners to discuss the secrets to their success. He also hosts and speaks at monthly small business workshops and seminars on such topics as finding a good mentor and how to get your business’s message out. In addition, he is involved with networking groups for business-owner collaboration.

He is responsible for the KnowYourLaw blog, which features a weekly article directed at lay people. It’s designed to teach non-attorneys what they need to know about the law and covers such topics as how special needs trusts can be used to help disabled family members acquire wealth without hurting the Social Security benefit.

Community involvement is important to O’Flaherty. Last year he was vice president of the Rotary Club of Downers Grove and chairman of the business expo for the Rotary Grove Fest, the Downers Grove summer festival. This year he will serve a term on the chamber of commerce board. In 2014, he was on the board of AIM, the Center for Independent Living, a nonprofit organization that helps disabled people live on their own.

He lives in Darien with his wife and two young children and is working on his first book recounting his experiences running a law firm and helping owners systematize their business.

“I don’t sleep much,” he said.  

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