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BUSINESS Betty Tsamis opens local law firm
by Ross Forman

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Betty Tsamis began practicing law in 2001 while living in Colorado, and was the lead counsel for a much-publicized case where she represented a pharmacist undergoing gender transition.

She returned to Chicago in 2005 and was licensed legally in Illinois in 2006.

In 2008, she started the Tsamis Law Firm, P.C.

'I've worked for very small to mid-size law firms and, to be quite honest, I really wanted to go out and do my own thing. I wanted to see if I could be successful at my own my law firm, and so far it's been working out very well,' Tsamis said. 'I always felt like something was missing when I was working for other attorneys and other law firms.

'I've seen some very strange things at various law firms that I've been at. It seems as though the people we represent sometimes get lost in the mix.

'I have been on both sides, meaning, I have represented both people and also entities/companies, so I have had the perspective from both sides.'

Her firm will concentrate on business, employment/HR law and GLBT matters.

'The most fantastic work experience I've had was when I was working for a mid-sized firm in Colorado, and they really had the focus on doing the right thing,' Tsamis said. 'It was at that firm where I worked on two high-profile case, both of which received wide-ranging media exposure—and that's when I realized that being an attorney was the right thing [ for me ] to do. Unfortunately, my dad became very sick in Chicago and he passed away, and I then decided to come back home. Or I probably would still be with that law firm in Colorado.'

Tsamis has worked with clients in various industries: food/restaurant; oil & gas; aviation; telemarketing; retail; wholesale; and professional service organizations. She also has worked with GLBT companies and GLBT individuals on various matters.

'I couldn't be happier now, being the master of my own universe, so to speak,' Tsamis said. 'More important, I get to apply my values in the practice of law and practice the way I feel good about practicing. Some of my core values are, providing affordable, competent legal services—and not turning someone away and helping someone out, be it an individual or business, however possible.

'One of the things I pride myself on is, out-of-the-box thinking on creating fee agreements that actually work, not just for the attorney, but also for the clients. I want to reach out to those who may not have the full resources up front, or they may have limited resources, or they may not have any resources. I really pride myself on being very creative on how I can help people.'

Tsamis said she expects to add another attorney to the firm in the next year possibly, but never a huge mega-firm.

'Within the GLBT community, I want to continue representing GLBT individuals in the areas of employment- and business-law,' she said. 'I also want to work with individuals in other areas, such as contracts and litigations, plus domestic partnerships.

'I also want to work with GLBT business owners, particularly small, start-up companies, emerging companies, and entrepreneurs.'

Tsamis said she 'couldn't be happier' since she's now working for herself. 'I feel like I have found myself as an attorney and have really come into my own,' she said. 'I can't see myself going back to working in a law firm for someone else after having this experience [ running my own firm ] . I could see working with other attorneys, but I can not see myself as anything but self-employed at this point.'

Tsamis is an active volunteer for the Chicago Lighthouse, which supports people who are blind.

For more information on Tsamis Law Firm, P.C., contact Betty Tsamis at 312-827-7973 or .

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