We are all thrilled to announce that Heidi Echols has been made partner at Jayaram Law. Heidi, who has been with the firm since Spring 2019, has been a key component to the firm’s ongoing quarter over quarter growth. More importantly, she is a universally adored lawyer and mentor who has guided major companies through Data Privacy and Information Technology issues for the past 20 years. First, as a partner at McDermott Will & Emery. Then, as the managing partner of her own firm. Heidi advises some of the largest and most innovative healthcare companies in the world.
In addition to acting as the Managing Partner of the Chicago office, Heidi is mom to three amazing children: Annika (18), Celia (16), and Teddy (10). She sits on the board of her daughters’ high school, Morgan Park Academy, and calls the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago home. She manages to balance a dizzying number of interests and activities with her work as a lawyer, and we are endlessly impressed by her maturity, intellect, and respect she receives from other lawyers, clients, and colleagues.
If you’ve got a question about data privacy, information technology, or a healthcare related legal issue, drop her a note at [email protected]. We feel lucky to have her. Now, our clients get to see why.
- Easy one. Tell us who you are and what you do?
At work, I’m an information technology and data privacy attorney. I help companies protect the information they have and help develop strategies for them to use and share the information in ways that the law allows. I have a special focus on serving clients in the healthcare industry. I negotiate contracts, write policies, and counsel clients on compliance.
At home, I’m a mom of three kids. Annika is 18 and will be a freshman in college; Celia is 16 and will be a junior in high school; and Teddy is 10 and will be in fifth grade. I live in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago and live in a 1925 bungalow that I’m constantly working on. I enjoy cooking, taking walks, and working on my perennial garden in my yard.
- Explain a typical day for you.
Well nothing is typical in a pandemic! But … I usually start my morning with a cup of coffee. If the weather is nice, I sit outside on my deck and listen to the sounds of the city waking up. During WFH operations, I usually cook breakfast, and it’s really a treat to have leisurely mornings. I start work between 8:30 and 9:00, and I spend most of my day on my computer. When I was in the office, I would get out for lunch and coffee a few times a day. When I’m home, I make a solid effort to take a walk mid-day. After work, I usually cook dinner while I listen to music or the news. My son and I like to take an evening walk to get some ice cream. I love to wind down sitting by the fire pit with my kids or I sit on the deck with some twinkly lights.
- Are you reading anything interesting at the minute?
I confess I am between books right now! I’ve started and stopped quite a few books since this spring… In early spring, though, I finished reading “Future Home of the Living God” by Louise Erdrich, one of my favorite authors. This is a great dystopian novel that surprised me with its ending. My favorite book by Erdrich is the Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse.
- What’s the most innovative thing you’ve ever done?
In 2009, I left a great job at one of the largest firms in the world. I always enjoyed the work there, but it wasn’t fitting with my life anymore. I slowed down a little bit, doing less work with friends and former colleagues. When the time was right, I embraced life as a small business owner and became really intentional about building my own practice. Deciding when to slow down and when to push forward is always a risk and building a small business means you always have to read the tea leaves a little bit to decide what the next big move will be.
- Tell us your secret ingredient.
This is a question that you have to survey others to get the right answer! But, I think “quality” is my secret ingredient – I like to do things well and if I’m not happy with the outcome, I’d rather re-do it than turn out something less-than-perfect. This can lead to late nights and early mornings sometimes, but I do know that I’m usually satisfied with what I finish.
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Currently, Iceland is high on my list! I love the Scandinavian cultures, and Iceland’s landscape is moody and beautiful at the same time. I’d love to time it right to see the spectacular Northern Lights. Reykjavik is a bustling city with impressive art and culture, restaurants and theater, yet it’s a seaport with a small-town feel. Supposedly! I need to experience it for myself!
- The Simpsons or Family Guy?
This is the worst kind of question because it highlights the fact that I barely watch tv…. I haven’t watched the Simpsons since high school and I don’t believe I’ve ever watched Family Guy! I do watch New Girl, though.
- The Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Rolling Stones – I saw them at Soldier Field in 1997 and it was amazing! They are icons of rock … More recently, I’ve been listening to their more mellow music, which is a perfect accompaniment to sitting outside near a fire.
- Tea or coffee?
- Batman or Joker?
Can I answer Wonder Woman? I liked that movie.