Spotlight on Chicago’s Thone Phan

Meet Thone Phan! (Pronounced “Tone”) Thone is an experienced business development and marketing professional with over 15 years in the legal industry. She currently supports the Intellectual Property and Technology practice group at Dentons US. The world of business development and law are evolving and she collaborates with colleagues to provide support to their attorneys, helping them navigate through changes to provide exemplary service to their clients. Thone is also of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage.

What is your favorite thing about being an LMA member?

I love being part of a team among my peers, who support and lift each other up so they can excel in their careers.

What does Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?

My family came to the US from Laos in the late 70s when I was just four years old. Although we were raised with the American culture, my parents made sure they also incorporated the Asian culture and tradition into our lives and I am so grateful for that. Celebrating this month with my son, who was born in the US, means the world to me and makes me so proud to be an Asian American.

What is your favorite cultural tradition?

Gathering together with family to celebrate a significant event. Our main dish is sticky rice, which is served in handmade baskets. Traditional Lao food, such as Lahb and papaya salad, are shared among family and friends.

What are your hobbies?

I have been rock climbing and bouldering for well over 25 years. I currently teach rock climbing at a local rock wall. Although most of my experience has been indoors, my son and I have started to climb outdoors recently. My son and I are also big fans of horror films. Not sure if that is a hobby, but we plan to watch as many horror films, old and new, as we can.

What was the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

In my mid-20s, I travelled to Europe alone for 10 days. I started in Sweden and ended in Scotland. The highlight of that trip was bouldering in Fontaine Bleu just outside of Paris.

What travel spot is on your bucket list?

Galapagos Islands

If you could time travel, where’s the first place you would go?

I would love to redo my last two years of college.

What would the title of your autobiography be?

Two dollars and an apple.

Who was your top artist on Spotify Wrapped last year?


What was your first live concert?

Stone Temple Pilots

What TV show are you currently streaming?

Ted Lasso

If you could appear on any game show, which one would you choose?


What’s your favorite movie?

Princess Bride

Who would play you in a movie about your life?


If you could trade places with a Marvel Super Hero (or villain!) for a day, who would it be?


Do you have any pets? If so, what’s your favorite thing about them?

I have a Frenchie Pug. I love everything about her, but mostly her loyalty and snuggles.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Protein bar

What’s your favorite dessert?


Which 3 famous people would you invite to a dinner party?

Chris Hemsworth, Michelle Yeoh, and Barack Obama

Pick one word to describe your “why.” What motivates you in your career and personal life?

I love knowledge and learning. In both my career, it is what drives me to be better. In my personal life, teaching my son that hard work and humility are the keys to success.

Tell us something unique about your law firm or business.

Dentons is one of a handful of Swiss verein forms.

What’s one of your proudest accomplishments in your career?

My proudest accomplishment was taking a leap of faith and moving to a new firm to accept a manager role.

How has LMA helped you accomplish your career goals?

As a long time member, LMA has always been a pillar throughout my career – from the learning resources, job banks, and support from my peers.

What’s the best career advice that someone has ever given you?

The world is your oyster.


  • Kate Harry Shipham

    Kate Harry Shipham is the Principal of KHS People LLC, an executive search firm with a niche in placing marketers and business developers in law firms. Kate is a former attorney, and she leverages her background as an attorney to understand the individual needs of her clients and candidates. Both clients and candidates work with Kate because of her deep understanding of the market, her ability to relate based on her attorney and search experience combined, and her professional and personable style she brings into each search.