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Leadership in Law 2014: Lesley A. Pfleging

Associate, Lewis Wagner LLP, Indianapolis • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, 2006

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15col-Pfleging.jpg Lesley A. Pfleging (IL Photo/ Eric Learned)

When Lesley A. Pfleging joined Lewis Wagner’s transportation practice group, it was a new area of law to her. But Lesley has worked to increase her knowledge of the area’s unique issues by attending and speaking at seminars and preparing materials for transportation industry representatives. Clients appreciate her no-nonsense approach in helping them resolve complex issues, and she has proven that she can successfully handle transportation cases from start to finish. Her hard work has helped the firm expand its transportation practice group.

How does a young female attorney break into the male-dominated transportation industry? Have you felt any push back from people in that area because you are a woman?

Commercial carriers employ many women in many roles – from drivers to safety directors. As the commercial industry employs more women, the need for female attorneys has also grown. I have not experienced push back; instead, I’ve been told by women clients that they are encouraged by the growing number of female attorneys that are able to service their legal needs.

If you couldn’t be a lawyer, what would you do for a living?

A TripAdvisor editor/travel consultant!

Is there a moment in your career you wish you could do over?

As a young lawyer, there are many times when we face unchartered waters. Out of fear, I recall times when I did not trust my instincts and failed to speak up in situations or even seek help from my superiors. In hindsight, I wish I would have offered my opinion or reached out for assistance. These are the situations that teach you to better yourself.

You recently had your first child. What are some tips you’ve received for achieving a work/life balance?

I’ll let you know once I get back to work! Right now, I’m learning what it is like to operate on three hours of sleep, so I’m not sure my brain cells are operating properly to offer sound legal advice at this time!

What civic cause is the most important to you?

Adult illiteracy. If a parent cannot read to a child, the child’s literacy also suffers. In addition to teaching children how to read, we also owe the same obligation to adults.

What’s something about you not many people know?

I don’t eat anything green – salad, green vegetables, etc. Yuck.

What is the most important lesson you learned from your mentor?

Listen to your client – do not assume you know what they need.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

Matthew McConaughey in “The Lincoln Lawyer,” or Saul Goodman from “Breaking Bad.” Pure entertainment.

If you could meet and spend the day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?

John Grisham – he is the reason I began looking at law school while attending IU.

What was the worst or most memorable job you had prior to becoming an attorney?

Teaching t-ball for the Parks & Recreation Department – sun, fun and kids.

What class do you wish you could have skipped in law school?

Tax – I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way; however, it’s a practical course that is necessary, and some might say a right of passage.

Why do you think people often have negative stereotypes about lawyers?

Because many lawyers fail to listen; instead, they are thinking about what to say next. In such situations, lawyers may come across as “know it all” types.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Ice cream.
 

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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