Chris Jaekels has been a life-long Bayside resident and Thursday was named "Municipal Lawyer of the Year."
"I've lived on the North Shore nearly all my life," Jaekels said. "My wife Jean and I have raised our kids here. As a result, my work for the Village involves friends and neighbors involved in all different aspects of their lives and our community."
Jaekels began his work as a village attorney for Bayside in 1992 when he joined Davis & Kuelthau, S.C. Today, Tom Drought and Jaekels are partners at Davis & Kuelthaus.
"I took over from Tom as the official Village Attorney in 2000," Jaekels said. "His mentoring is one of the biggest reasons I've had a successful career and one of the reasons that my work might have been noticed by the folks at Best Lawyers in America."
Only one lawyer from each area of practice in each community is selected and the decision is made, partially, from peer-review ratings by thousands of other lawyers each year the press release said.
Best Lawyers was first published in 1983 and more than 36,000 attorneys cast nearly 4.4 million votes to help this decision process. Because lawyers are unable to pay a fee to be on the list, Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice,” the release said.
"I think this award is really a reflection on the quality of Village staff, the Board of Trustees, and the residents who serve on Boards and Commissions," Jaekels said. "I've been able to do my job well thanks to the dedication, hard work, and civic concern of those folks. When you have a great client like that it tends to bring out your best work."
In addition to Jaekels earning the lawyer of the year award, Davis & Kuelthau’s Municipal Law practice is recognized as Tier 1 (highest ranking) in the 2013 Best Law Firms survey the release said.
"I have a downtown law practice in a 75-attorney firm, but when I'm wearing my Village Attorney hat I get to be a country lawyer," Jaekels said. "That's what I like best about the job."