Soo Yeon Lee concentrates her practice in the areas of general litigation, real estate and estate planning law. She has a wide range of litigation experiences in contract disputes, real estate and property rights, estate and trust issues, various commercial transactions, construction, business torts, other tort claims, personal injury, employment, insurance, and claims for injunctive relief. She serves as an arbitration panelist in the Circuit Court of Cook County. She also provides counsel on a wide array of business issues well beyond the litigation setting.
She represents sellers and buyers of commercial real estate and has extensive experience representing commercial landlords and tenants in leasing, negotiating retail, restaurant, office, shopping center, and industrial leases. She regularly counsels on various property ownership and management issues.
She also counsels on estate planning and business planning. She spends a lot of time counseling business owners through complex issues that arise in business planning and business succession planning as well as their individual and family estate planning. She also counsels individuals and families on international (U.S. – South Korea) estate planning.
Soo is also very active in the Chicago Korean business community and provides legal services for many Korean businesses in a wide range of issues from day to day operation to litigation. As a lawyer who speaks the Korean language and knows the Korean culture well, she also plays the role of bridging the gap so that Korean businesses can effectively and successfully navigate the legal system.
Beyond her usual areas of practice, Soo is committed to public service through extensive pro bono work in, among others, the areas of consumer credit and insolvency issues, foreclosure, landlord/tenant law, guardianship and small claims. She served as a member of the Board of Directors for Korean American Community Services (KACS), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to offering educational, legal, health and social services for the local community in Chicago from 2009 to 2015. She also served as the Director of Pro Bono Legal Clinic of the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago (KABA) from 2008 to 2012.
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
Korean American Bar Association of Chicago (KABA)
- Advisory Board, 2014 – present
- Board Member, 2008 – 2014
- Pro Bono Legal Clinic Director, 2008-2012
American Bar Association, Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
- Community Outreach Committee, Chair, 2017 – present; Vice-Chair, 2014-2017
- Law Practice Management Group, Group Vice-Chair, 2017 – Present
- Solo and Small Firm Committee, Chair, 2016 – 2017
- Ground Leasing Committee, Chair, 2014-2016
- Nuts and Bolts of Leases teleconference series, Co-Chair, 2014-2016
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
- Named as a 2015-2018 Emerging Lawyer by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s Leading Lawyers division. The recognition, held by less than 2 percent of Illinois attorneys, is limited to lawyers age 40 or younger unless they have practiced for a decade or less. Recommended in Commercial Litigation and Commercial Real Estate.
- Nominated to become a fellow with the American Bar Foundation, 2014 (limited to less than 1 percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction).
- Selected as one of the six attorneys in the nation for the Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law of the American Bar Association Fellows Class of 2012-2014.
Selected legal lectures include:
- Lease Restructuring, March 2018, March 2016, Practicing Law Institute
- Lease Review, April 2017, April 2016, Practicing Law Institute
- Building and Managing a Successful Real Estate/Estate Planning Practice, May 2016, Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law of American Bar Association (ABA)
- How to Review and Negotiate Purchase and Sale Agreement and Commercial Lease, June 2015, 3rd Minority Bar Conference
- How to Review and Negotiate a Commercial Lease, April 2015, Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law of American Bar Association (ABA)
- Build to Suit Leases, May 2014, Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law of American Bar Association (ABA)
- Signage Issues in Commercial Leasing, Nuts and Bolts of Leases, June 2013, Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law of American Bar Association (ABA)
- What I wish I had Known About Leadership, American Bar Association, Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division’s September/October 2016 Issue.
- How to Handle Landlord-Tenant Disputes, B&B Magazine