Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Twenty years ago, Oliver Thoenen found himself in the curious predicament of loving the law but not loving the idea of practicing as an attorney.
After graduating from Lewis and Clark Law School and passing the California Bar exam, Thoenen considered the long hours and endless timesheets required to become a partner. “I wasn’t sure that a long-term career in the law was necessarily going to deliver the happiness and balance I wanted,” he said.
A short-term marketing job at Dorsey & Whitney grew into a career. Thoenen’s supervisor, Larry Splett, a public relations veteran, taught him marketing and communication skills. “I found I enjoyed and was good at what I was doing,” he said.
After joining Stoel Rives LLP in 2008, he climbed from a business proposal writer and social media editor to content marketing and public relations manager. He landed in 2016 at Hinshaw & Culbertson as senior marketing communications manager.
The job entails understanding the intersection of business, the media, and law and strategizing where he can promote Hinshaw in that matrix. He’s placed the firm’s attorneys in hundreds of articles in local, national, and trade media publications.
Thoenen, for example, was instrumental in Kimco Realty Corp. and Hinshaw winning a 2021 American Lawyer Magazine award for collaboration. Hinshaw and several other law firms created materials to help Kimco’s retail clients take advantage of government programs during the pandemic.
A native of Switzerland with a British accent acquired from his mother and made permanent while attending boarding school in the United Kingdom, Thoenen has become a true Minnesotan who likes to bike, garden and cook. He and his wife are parents to two teenagers he often chauffeurs to various activities.” Being a good dad and a good husband is my happy place,” he said.