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Young Ones to Watch: Aaron-Michael Sapp, Partner at Cheng Cohen

Sapp spoke with 1851 Franchise about his expertise in franchise law and what advice he’d give to anyone just getting started in their career.

By Lauren Garcia1851 Editor
Updated 12:12PM 10/29/21

Aaron-Michael Sapp wants young people to stay curious. As a commercial litigator and trial lawyer with Cheng Cohen — a law firm that specializes in franchise compliance and growth — Sapp knows firsthand how curiosity can define a person’s career. 

“More importantly: Be intentional about that curiosity,” Sapp said. “If you rely on algorithms to provide all your news and entertainment, you’re going to read, listen to and watch the same things everybody else does. And as a result, you’re going to think the same things everyone else does.”

Sapp said he spent his time in law school being lectured about the various niches of the legal profession and the importance of finding a specialty to help others. 

“When I was in law school, I had a contracts professor who lectured us about how we would all overlook certain niches of law, and the area he mentioned specifically was franchising,” Sapp said. “I proceeded to ignore that advice and went to work for a large law firm in Chicago.”

About five years later, Sapp ran into the founders of Cheng Cohen. When he found out they worked in franchising law, Sapp said he believed it was serendipitous.

“From a litigation standpoint, I love the variety in working with franchising,” he said. “No two cases are ever the same, and even if they’re similar, the industry in which the dispute is happening often changes. So it gives me the opportunity to learn a lot about a lot of different businesses. And that variety is not just important to having a successful career, but also to having a happy one.”

Watch the full interview with Sapp above, or click here to watch it on YouTube.