Dao Boyle never found Jenny Kim’s breaking point — that point at which a lawyer who is overwhelmed during intense litigation resorts to taking shortcuts.
The reason Boyle never found this breaking point? Kim has shown no evidence that she has one. It’s why this partner with Chicago’s Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP has become one of the most respected commercial litigators in Chicago. Boyle, who is now senior vice president of business development with TransUnion Interactive, formerly worked alongside Kim as a partner at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP. During that time, the two worked together on several high-stakes litigation cases.
“There were several instances during these cases in which I found my breaking point and the breaking point of my colleagues,” said Boyle.“I believe that everyone has that breaking point. But I honestly never found Jenny’s. She was so strong and so reliable that she became the ultimate ‘backstop’ for our whole team on every case. She refused to take any shortcuts, and always tirelessly insisted on doing the job the right way.”
Her tenacity and commitment are among the many characteristics on which Kim has built her thriving career. Among the litigation she routinely handles, Kim has successfully defended a Fortune 25 company in several matters, including a complex breach of contract dispute and a state-wide class action, counseled an international remanufacturer in an antitrust, unfair trade practices and conspiracy action, and advised various online retailers in actions alleging consumer fraud and misrepresentation claims.
Most of the matters Kim handles are extremely complicated, presenting novel issues and requiring out-of-box thinking and strategic defenses. By way of example, Kim was an instrumental part of the defense team that successfully represented one of the three national credit reporting bureaus in an industry- changing trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit.
Boyle said that Kim’s work during this case proved a key role in the defense team’s victory at trial. “Throughout this extremely complex and lengthy litigation, Jenny was strategic and methodical in her planning, and proved an invaluable member of the defense team,” Boyle said.“Jenny’s diligence, foresight and solid work product was instrumental to our victory.”
Daniel Alter, a shareholder with Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based GrayRobinson, said that Kim never provides anything less than top service to her clients. Despite her many commitments to the community and her family as a mother of two young children, Kim’s not afraid to put in long hours to make sure her clients have the best opportunity to achieve their goals. “She is tough but thoughtful,” Alter said. “These qualities combine to create a strong litigator, the very kind you hope to have on your team, and the kind you most fear to face across the table. If I were functioning as an in-house counsel for a corporation faced with delicate or complex litigation, I would want Jenny on my legal team.”
In addition to her active case load, Kim makes time to give back to her profession and to develop the next generation of lawyers. She is co-chair of her firm’s Diversity Committee and leads the Minority Initiative, a group that regularly meets to provide a forum for minority attorneys to gather and discuss issues that impact their practice and development. Kim also serves as the work allocation partner for her practice group to ensure the equitable distribution of work and opportunity among the associates, and is an active participant in her firm’s mentoring programs. This commitment to mentorship doesn’t take a back seat when Kim is on trial.
“In the midst of intense litigation, most of us became very selfish with our time. Jenny, on the other hand, was not like the rest of us. Despite being the ‘go to’ person in our department for every important case, she found time to mentor our associates, show genuine concern and helpfulness to me and her other colleagues.”