CHICAGO, IL – A supercommuter rides through every season, in all types of weather, day and night. Choosing the simplicity, health and pleasure of bicycling, a supercommuter simply prefers to ride a bike to the grocery store, to work, to a concert or the cafe. Illinois native and Chicago resident Jim Freeman (aka Lawyer Jim) is no exception, and he has been riding on two wheels ever since he can remember. In 2005, he left his “big” law firm job with dreams of opening a small general injury practice. With a long list of cycling friends and acquaintances, word spread quickly, and Lawyer Jim was soon on his way to building a robust legal practice focused on defending and protecting the rights of Chicago bicyclists.
As Jim worked to get his new venture off the ground, he was determined to build his new practice at his own pace. To make ends meet, he remembers fondly working as a mechanic at Boulevard Bikesin Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood and delivering Time Out Chicago magazines one day a week through three brutal Chicago winters.
Eventually his legal work picked up, and he was able to dedicate himself fully as the champion of the self-propelled.
Eighty percent of the cases Lawyer Jim’s firm now takes involve crashes involving bicyclists and motorists. Jim believes that being a lifelong cyclist allows him to “develop a case with a unique perspective and a tremendous strategic benefit for his clients.” In addition to representing bicyclists, he educates his clients with what he calls the “stupid standard.” “If you’re going to ride at night you simply must have lights and reflectors. You want to have so many lights and reflectors that in a court of law the driver looks stupid when they say they didn’t see you,” says Freeman.
Currently, Lawyer Jim makes his daily eight mile commute on his Bridgestone hardtail mountain bike. He is accustomed to temperatures near -20F, Chicago snowfall, and fall and spring downpours. In addition, Jim maintains a website and blog — www.lawyerjimfreeman.com. It’s full of legal information regarding bicycle laws and safe biking tips.