Miriam Leskovar Burkland has been a part of the Chicago legal community for nearly 40 years. Earning her law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1981, she concentrates her practice on corporate and commercial transactions, with extensive experience negotiating and interpreting a full range of contracts that impact and support her clients and their businesses. She advises her clients at all stages of a company’s lifecycle, from formation to sale, and through various operating, financial, ownership, management and governance challenges.
For more than 30 years, Miriam has been a partner with Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC and its predecessor, Defrees & Fiske. Since 2012, she has served as vice chairperson of the firm’s Business and Corporate Group. In this capacity, she facilitates marketing, practice management, communications, and training opportunities for the group’s more than 70 attorneys.
In addition, she oversees the firm’s summer intern program for the Chicago office. Working with younger attorneys has always been a priority for Miriam. She regularly provides formal and informal mentoring to women in the firm as well as other attorneys and law students. She is a constant source of support for younger attorneys, always ready to listen and encourage professional growth and camaraderie.
As a younger female attorney at Howard & Howard has noted: “When I first joined the firm, I was feeling overwhelmed, unsure and not very confident. But Miriam took me under her wing and gave me all the direction and support I required early in my career. Because of her, I regained my confidence.”
Her long history of community involvement includes extended service as pro bono counsel to the Parks Foundation of Oak Park, a nonprofit organization created to promote giving opportunities and support projects for her hometown’s Park District. For many years, Miriam also served as a coach for law students at Loyola University Chicago School of Law who participated in LawMeets (a transactional negotiation competition). Additionally, she was a long-time board member of the Oak Park—River Forest Community Foundation, which manages $33 million in assets and strengthens the community through philanthropy, and Gads Hill Center, a comprehensive social service agency supporting children and their families on Chicago’s near southwest side.
Miriam’s considerable legal talent, leadership skills and vision have been recognized by Illinois Leading Lawyers (2010-present) and Illinois Super Lawyers (2005-07; 2011). She holds a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, the highest peer rating standard. Miriam is also a member of the Chicago Bar Association and serves on its Commercial Finance and Transactions and Corporation and Business Law Committees.
Miriam and her husband Mark, a municipal government lawyer with Elrod Friedman, have two adult children, Thomas and Katharine.