Like all of us, Jim Inendino brings to his professional responsibilities the values that he developed as an Italian American growing up in the Chicago area, as a student at schools in the area and, especially in his case, as a student athlete. He has taken those lifelong lessons into his practice at the Chicago law firm of Loeb & Loeb LLP. He likes bringing together people from different practice areas to work as a team to help a client get a deal done or find a solution to a problem.
Inendino’s parents were second-generation Italian Americans. Depression-era children, neither of them finished high school. His father completed ninth grade and drove a magazine truck his entire life, while his mother finished eighth grade and was a seamstress who worked out of the family’s home sewing plastic seat covers.
Born on the West Side of Chicago, Jim and his family, which includes an older brother and older sister, moved to Schiller Park when he was 2. He lived there until 1983 when he got married. He and his wife, Linda, have three daughters, ages 25, 22 and 17. His daughter Rosalee is an outstanding and successful student at the John Marshall Law School in her second year. She is not only successful as a law student but a contributing member to the informal Justinian Society Mentoring Program, assisting entering law students on the completion of their first year of studies. The apple, as they say, doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“I can honestly say I would not be half the person I am without my dad,” Rosalee says. “He’s taught me that drive and hard work will always pay off. He has also taught me that hard work doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have a great family to share it with, because family is the most important [thing] in the world. If I didn’t have my dad’s support and love, there is no way I would have been able to succeed in so many aspects of my life. He is my biggest fan, and I am thankful for that every day.” Again, the fruit/tree concept is obvious.
Inendino played center on the football team at Carthage College before going on to law school. He planned on becoming a civil litigator, but when he started his first law position, the firm needed someone to practice real estate law, and he found an area he thoroughly enjoyed.
After about seven years, the firm at which he started as a lawyer downsized the department because of the then-sagging economy, so he opened his own practice. He did that for about four years.
“It was some of the most rewarding days of my life and some of the most agonizing,” he says. “You worked and saw the fruits of your labor directly and also saw your failures directly. There was no cushion. It gave me a bigger appreciation for firm costs and staying on top of clients for billing.”
In 2008, he got the opportunity to work at Loeb & Loeb and be on the ground floor of building the office’s real estate and finance practice groups.
His practice today is “more back-to-basics real estate. It’s a real estate finance practice, and it’s a real estate workout practice. Not necessarily in that order. It just depends on the day.”
He also works on restructures for major builders all over the country. He does real estate finance deals for a few banks, as well as handling straight finance matters for clients.
Inendino continues to love the closing table during a transaction, comparing it to game day during his football days. “All the preparation and work to get to the deal is like all the practices leading up to the big game,” he says.
And while many deals today happen by mail, he still finds the closing table one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job.
“I love the challenges of real estate,” he says.
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