Rutkowski Law Firm

Patrick L. Carrier


Patrick was born at Bethesda Naval Hospital just outside of D.C. while his father was stationed at the Pentagon and his mother was an associate attorney at Hogan & Hartson, a position later occupied by now Chief Justice John Roberts.  At the age of five, his mother decided children were best raised with an appreciation for nature, rural life and hard work and so the family moved to a farm in Rockford, Michigan. Patrick grew up alongside his younger brother and sister in an 1880s farmhouse where they raised chickens, pigs, cows and a variety of crops, learning the value of hard work with one’s own hands.

Through high school and college, Patrick worked a variety of jobs including dishwasher, travel agent, web designer and bar doorman as well as multiple stints with his father’s estate planning law firm as a researcher, scrivener and general office grunt worker. He studied English, Philosophy and Rugby during his time at Loyola University Chicago. The transition from a rural West Michigan farm upbringing to the heart of the city was a jarring transition, but Patrick loved it and quickly came to appreciate all the city had to offer.  One of the benefits to being a broke college student in a big city is learning how far you can stretch a buck and having a variety of markets and cultures to learn from, as well as his own farm background, Patrick cultivated a love of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen he continues to explore daily.  The balance between the calm simplicity of the farm and the speed and diversity of the city has remained an important part of Patrick’s life to this day.

After Loyola, Patrick went on to attend law school in South Bend at the University of Notre Dame where he served as an officer in both the Irish Law Society and the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity.  His time at ND was well spent and he gained an excellent legal education as well as dozens of lifelong friends. As a member of the Bengal Bouts amateur boxing tournament, he took a few blows to the head, but that hasn’t impaired his legal judgment…much.  His Notre Dame affiliation has likely lost him a client or two in his Michigan practice, but he still considers it three years well spent.  It was also at Notre Dame that Patrick began distance running to calm down and clear his head, a practice he’s kept up ever since, running marathons and triathlons around the country.

From Notre Dame, Patrick returned to Chicago. He began his career as a corporate litigator and spent six years defending American manufacturers, Class 1 Railroads, transportation companies and insurance providers.  These years in the highly combative world of litigation made Patrick realize that he would rather build his career around helping families than fighting with and for corporate interests.  He returned to Michigan and refocused his career on elder law and estate planning including launching and heading a new branch of his father’s estate planning practice.  Patrick joined the Rutkowski firm in 2018 has been helping Michigan and Illinois families protect themselves and find peace of mind ever since.