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Why I Became a CLP
Part 2-"The Train Attorney" Jim Coston

Three Attorneys

Joseph Bonanno, CLP
Jim Coston, CLP
Barry Marks, CLP

This is the ninth in a series about the Certified Lease Professional program, explaining why individuals decided to become a CLP, the process, and their reaction to the knowledge and other benefits gained.

Since there are only three attorneys who are Certified Lease Profession, this will be in three parts.

Part 2-"The Train Attorney"

Jim Coston

Mr. Coston is Founder and Chairman of Coston & Rademacher, a 100 employee Chicago-based law firm which for over 20 years has concentrated its practice in equipment leasing and financing.

He also is Chairman of NewTrains Leasing System, which provides equipment and infrastructure lease and financing options for commuterrail authorities and state departments of transportation seeking to build intercity passenger-train networks.

Mr. Coston in 2004 became the first attorney to serve as President of the United Association of Equipment Leasing (UAEL .) He is also active in other leasing associations, such as the Equipment Leasing Association.

From 2000 to 2003 he served as a presidential appointee on the Amtrak Reform Council. He is highly respected among those in favor of increased rail transit to solve the high dependence on gasoline.

He is a graduate of Northwestern University and DePaul University College of Law.

"I believe that attaining CLP status is a great accomplishment, and that having it as an industry measure for professionalism and ethics is extraordinarily important.

"In my representation of clients I have always prided myself on understanding the business my leasing clients were in, not just the law, so to me it was a natural.

" Once I was first elected to the UAEL Board in 1998, I considered becoming a CLP a priority. But we're all busy, and I never set aside the time to study and take the exam. Later, I was asked to help then-UAEL Executive Director Ray Williams set up the CLP Foundation as a stand-alone organization, which we accomplished.

"When I was elected Secretary-Treasurer of UAEL, I made a commitment to myself that I would become a CLP before becoming President. Bob Rodi and others frequently offered to tutor me. Finally, Jim McCommon, one of those who had always offered to tutor me, suggested to Marci Slagle and me that he would be pleased to tutor us in Seattle and have us take the exam. We accepted.

"We spent a day with Jim going through the exam, with some assistance in the afternoon from Terey Jennings. Marci took the exam the following day. I took it several weeks later (I hesitated because I was so intimidated by the math section).

"I remember it being a full-day exam, with more writing than I recall since taking the bar exam almost 25 years earlier.

"I was very nervous about my test results, which I was advised of at the UAEL 2002 Spring Conference in Rancho Mirage. It really felt great to past this test. In all of this, my friends at UAEL were extraordinarily supportive of my interest and efforts towards becoming a CLP, and I can't say enough about Jim McCommon, as well as Terey Jennings. That is what the CLP designation is about. Friends helping friends to achieve this special designation."

James E. Coston, Esq.,


Coston & Rademacher
105 West Adams
Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60603

Office Phone: (312) 205-1010
Fax: (312) 205-1011

For more information:

   Cindy Spurdle - Executive Director

   610-687-0213 direct
   610-687-4111 fax
   CLP Foundation
   Attn: Cindy Spurdle
   PO Box 302
   Wayne, PA 19087