Transparency at Heart of Business Operations

Angela Hickey oversees business operations at one of Chicago’s premier law firms, leading through a philosophy that change is driven by trust, which comes from transparency.

Over the past 17 years, Hickey has been instrumental in refining Levenfeld Pearlstein’s core values. It is encapsulated in the LP Way – the business strategy that aligns firm initiatives, processes, and systems to ensure an exceptional client experience.

Her colleagues say she is dedicated to transforming process improvement and creating opportunities for others. Combining innovation and transparency, Hickey recently developed an internal dashboard that provides key performance indicators to practice leaders and attorneys. The tool ads another layer of credibility in management of clients, groups, and practices.

Living out the value of transparency, she conducts popular ‘Ask Angie’ town-hall sessions, inviting lawyers and staff to ask questions, provide feedback, and learn about firm planning.

As the firms’ executive director, Hickey holds a seat on its most influential governing bodies, the Executive Committee and the Compensation Committee. She has used her influence there to broaden male-dominated perspectives and systems within the firm and has put in place the LP Women’s Group. She said the key is connecting the firm’s strategic goals to the inclusion imperative of talent at every level.

In a world where upward mobility is viewed as career development, she has preferred to live her own motto of ‘Lead where you are’, something she has done throughout her career. “Many women wait to be called on instead of jumping in to make a contribution.  Leaders don’t wait – they participate. I follow the mantra of asking for forgiveness instead of for permission,” she said.