Justin Strane with Front Door Legal

Beyond the Front Door

The founder of Front Door Legal, Justin Strane, is determined to bring a fresh perspective to the world of real estate and law. The firm’s original goal was to design a law firm that would use every piece of technology available so as to allow attorneys to spend more time with clients and work on their real estate issues together. They have stayed the course, even as the industry has continued to change.

“We believe in forging genuine relationships with our clients, ensuring they feel welcome and understood from the first time they interact with our firm,” states Justin. “And we approach all client matters as a team to ensure client needs are being met promptly and with the care they deserve.”

Serving by Justin’s side, you’ll find Operations Manager Mari Milkolajczak. Mari plays a pivotal role in ensuring smooth transactions, minimizing client stress, and handling much of the day-to-day operations. “She keeps the train on the tracks while also juggling the production of condominium documents, title coordination, lender contact, and scheduling,” notes Justin. 

Recently, Justin and Mari have worked to expand Front Door Legal’s services. “We are developing a high-quality estate planning practice, allowing us to continue serving our clients ‘beyond the front door’—after a transaction ends,” Justin excitedly shares. This new development seamlessly fits into the firm’s bigger vision.

“Every piece of property is unique. There are no cookie-cutter solutions to real estate transactions or issues,” notes Justin. “Front Door Legal solves problems across the broad spectrum of real estate matters: the purchase, sale, and closing of residential and commercial real estate, drafting and negotiating commercial leases, representing condominium associations and owners, and many other types of real estate-related matters.”

For newcomers and even for seasoned professionals, real estate transactions can hold potential pitfalls. That’s where Front Door Legal especially loves to be of service to their clients.

“Particularly for the less experienced, dealing with real estate can be a blur of rules, regulations, clauses, conflicting clauses, misinterpreted provisions, and outright disagreements based on misunderstandings,” shares Justin. “We love nothing more than to cut through all of that noise for our clients.”  

Justin’s approach to the law can be summed up with the words precision, creativity, and flexibility. He thinks outside the box when needed, negotiates when negotiation is called for, and is ready to fight for his clients in court when all else fails.

The firm actively supports REALTORS® and their clients in various ways. As well as providing net sheets for potential listings, they also offer advice on legal issues unrelated to specific transactions. In addition to informing REALTOR® partners about business development opportunities, Front Door Legal supports REALTOR® events.

But the firm is not done growing its services. Justin has big things planned for the next three to five years. He shares, “We will be a premier option for clients in the residential transaction and estate planning space. We’re also going to grow our team and add several attorneys and the staff needed to properly support both our real estate and estate planning practices.”

This intentional growth is aimed at better serving Front Door Legal’s REALTOR® partners, too, because knowing the stakes of transactions, Justin and Mari understand the stress their REALTOR® partners are under as they also navigate a constantly changing and difficult real estate market. The additional focus on estate planning services ‘beyond the front door’ provides their REALTOR® partners with an additional value-add they can offer clients.

When he isn’t working, you’ll find Justin spending his time with his wife, Anne, an architect, and their daughter, Cora. They live in Lakeview East, where they love walking down to the Lincoln Park Green City Market and exploring the Lincoln Park Zoo during the summer. During the winter, they love to ice skate. Justin is a big ice hockey fan, but also enjoys playing the guitar and piano, having had to forgo his original instrument: playing the trumpet in condo buildings does not tend to go over well.

Over the years, Justin's definition of success has evolved. While financial success remains important, he now places greater emphasis on maintaining a well-rounded life. “It's not just about excelling as an attorney, but also being a present and strong referral partner, business owner, husband, and father,” he says.

With its personalized, team-oriented approach, Front Door Legal continues to differentiate itself in a city filled with law firms. It's their unique blend of personal attention and top-tier legal expertise that distinguishes them from the pack.

Front Door Legal is eager to collaborate with REALTORS® on real estate transactions and provide estate planning services to their clients. They strive to make the legal process as straightforward, efficient, and stress-free as possible. They consider it a privilege when they are entrusted to represent a client through such an important and challenging time in their lives.