Roman Seckel will likely never be on an episode of “Suits” or “Boston Legal.” Seckel, an attorney for Drendel & Jansons Law Group based in Batavia and Aurora, does not fit the profile of the typical lawyer found on such TV shows.
“He doesn’t fit the stereotype of a brash, arrogant attorney,” said Kevin Drendel, owner and attorney for Drendel & Jansons Law Group. Drendel nominated Seckel for a Kane County Chronicle Best Under 40 award.
“From my perspective, these types of brash attorneys that you see on the TV are actually not all that effective in life,” Drendel said. “[Roman] is compassionate. He is a good listener.”
Being empathetic to his clients – as well as setting realistic expectations – are the keys to Seckel’s success.
“One thing I like to think separates myself is I like to listen to clients and their actual needs,” he said. “I let them tell their story first. I want to give them a realistic vision of what they are looking at, in terms of what they can accomplish in the court system or by other legal means, and accomplish their goals.”
Seckel graduated in 2002 as a political science major from St. Norbert College. The 36-year-old received the Rev. Robert Cornell Excellence in Political Science Award. A college professor recommended he go to law school. And, after graduating cum laude in 2005 from The John Marshall Law School, he wanted to concentrate in family law, as well as do some government work.
Seckel is a member of the Kane County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association and the Wisconsin Bar Association. He won the Lincoln Award in 2007 for legal writing from the Illinois State Bar Association.
In 2010, the Kane County Bar Association named him Outstanding New Lawyer.
“He’s been a pretty strong leader of the local bar association from the very beginning of practicing law,” Drendel said. “He has been published numerous times in the Illinois Bar Journal.”
His family is very important to him. Married to his wife for more than 10 years, they have two children, ages 8 and 6, with a third due in November.
“They [family] keeps me grounded,” Seckel said. “My wife has been very supportive of my career and taking some extra responsibilities at home to allow me to do things ... in my career and outside in the community, as well.”
His job does allow him to have quality time with his wife and children. His hobbies include running, spending time with his family, hiking and camping.
“My job is flexible, if I need to take off and coach my son’s baseball team, and I can teach my kids’ religious education classes,” he said. “If I need to, I can go home early if they are sick.”
Seckel has been active in the community, working with the Knights of Columbus through the St. Charles council. He also supports a St. John Neumann Catholic Church ministry though a victims of domestic violence program.
“He has been a strong advocate of providing pro bono care to people who can’t afford it,” Drendel said. “He certainly fits the bill of someone who has been a leader in the Fox Valley under the age of 40.”
About the award
This past week, the Kane County Chronicle has recognized 12 area professionals younger than age 40 who have made significant contributions to their profession, company and community. To read the Best Under 40 profiles online, visit KCChronicle.com/bestunder40/2015.