By Kelsey Schutz
Divorce, adoption, immigration and estate planning are just some of the thousands of reasons a person may need the assistance of an attorney. And more numerous than these reasons are the vast emotions evoked by attending such an appointment. Attempting to remove clients’ fears, anxieties and intimidations, Jacksonville’s newest law firm offers clients a relaxed and welcoming environment, while providing professional and highly qualified services.
Born and raised in Jacksonville, Jennifer Gross, née Mansholt, attended law school at Dekalb’s Northern Illinois University (NIU). As a young wife, mother and student, Gross mastered the art of balance early in life. It was while she was obtaining her Juris Doctorate that she met fellow NIU law classmate Carrie Magerl, originally from Pleasant Plains. The two peers became fast friends, complete with Magerl serving as periodic babysitter for Gross’ young children.
Upon completion of law school the duo went their separate ways, but remained in touch. Magerl began working for an established law firm, while Gross worked in part time private practice. With experience gained, the two reconnected and began discussing the various needs present in central Illinois, and where their particular niches could fill in a gap.
“We do a lot of family law, and there is a big need for family law in the Jacksonville area,” said Magerl. “Anytime you decide to start something that you haven’t done before it’s frightening, but it’s really exciting too!”
The partners’ law firm, located at 608 West Morgan Street, officially opened this summer with a ribbon cutting ceremony having been held on September 15 and an open house on September 25. The community has very well received the new business.
“We’ve found that Jacksonville is really open to new people and businesses, and we’ve found a lot of support here. Jacksonville is a very central location, so it allows us to serve people in surrounding communities,” shared Magerl.
Magerl, Gross, and Associates is currently accepting new clients. The law firm especially caters to those clients that may require nontraditional meeting times, or flexibility regarding the formality of their appointment.
“I’ve had children at home and not had a babysitter available; I know what that is like. Our clients respect that we’re willing to provide them with that extra touch as far as being diverse and offering after hours, weekend, or home visit appointments,” said Gross.
Flexible meeting times is not the only unique component of this business. Magerl, Gross, and Associates is Jacksonville’s first completely owned and operated female law firm.
“There are people who prefer female attorneys; however, our works tends to speak for itself. We like to make the process simple. We enjoy being straight forward with our clients about what the law is and what they can expect when they work with us,” Gross explained.
While Magerl, Gross & Associates works on a broad range of legal issues, their specialties include bankruptcy, municipal law, administrative law, estate planning and adoption cases. When not practicing law, Magerl and Gross can frequently be found out and about in the community with their young families. Both women are members of the Morgan County Bar Association. Magerl is actively involved with Our Saviour’s Catholic Church, and Gross was a former Morgan County Crime Stoppers board member.
Magerl, Gross and Associates’ conduct office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. To see what the law firm can do for you, call 217 243 2089.