For Jonathan Levin Philadelphia was always the place where he planned to spend his life and whilst many of us decided to leave Philly after college to pursue our career dreams, Jonathan decided to become the greatest attorney that Philly has ever seen, and he has just about achieved that. When we were kids in north east Philly we were widely considered as the misfits by those from the centre and from the south, something which I know always wrangled with Jonathan. In aft that may very well have been the seed that planted justice in his mind. I moved back to Philadelphia three years ago and just last week I was chatting to Jonathan about why he wanted to stay here from such an early age.
As soon as Jonathan knew that he wanted to become an attorney he knew that this was the only city in which he wanted to do it. This is after all the city of the Liberty Bell and the home of the constitution of the USA, what better place to practice law than in its birthplace? Jonathan always had this in his mind and he believes that the city chose him rather than the other way around. For Jonathan practicing law in Chicago is like being a banker in London, a tech designer in Tokyo or a city trader in New York, it is the pinnacle of a career in this city.
Beyond anything else Jonathan and his family have been living in Philly for over 100 years and that was something which he was very much aware of when deciding whether to stay or go. Jonathan told me that he always liked the idea of having a family with a rich history in this city and it was something which he was keen to continue. Jonathan often spoke about is love of being part of a community who knows you and your family well.
Shunning the Lights
Jonathan has had numerous occasions to go to cities like New York and Chicago where he could have made some big money working in corporate law. Once you expose yourself to that kind of money it can be hard to refuse but that is exactly what Jonathan has done and in doing so he believes that he stayed true to himself. Jonathan is a serial winner and financially he is very comfortable, for him that is all that he wants from life and it is why he prefers to focus on his home town rather than chasing a dream elsewhere.
When Jonathan represents a client from his own state he often tells me that he feels like he is representing his own and that is something which pushes him to work harder for the victory. He knows that he wouldn’t feel this way if he were to leave the city or the state, which is another reason why he has chosen to stay.