DTCI: Young Lawyer Spotlights

Eddie Abel

Edmund (Eddie) Abel

Firm: Lewis Wagner LLP

Practice area(s): Insurance coverage, bad faith, complex litigation, professional liability

Time in practice: One year

What do you like best about your job?

I love the variety of topics that insurance law presents. Every case is unique, and that keeps things fresh.

What has been the best moment so far in your legal career?

Filing my first appearance in a case. That was the first time I felt like a real attorney.

Why are you a member of DTCI?

I wanted to join a group where I could network and connect with fellow attorneys. Having a forum of local attorneys to bounce ideas off of is a valuable resource, and it will make me a better attorney.

Unforeseen hurdles of your first year as a lawyer?

Sometimes the obvious answer is the right one. I joined Lewis Wagner in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic. Onboarding, meeting new co-workers, learning an entirely new area of the law — those things would have been challenging under normal circumstances, and things were not normal.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be and why?

I would probably still be teaching high school social studies and coaching speech. I miss having summers off, but I love what I’m doing now, and I would never go back.

What you wish you knew then … ?

That eventually I’d end up where I’m supposed to be.

Fun fact about you:

I am the fifth Edmund. My oldest son, Little Eddie, is the sixth. Someday he’ll probably have about the same amount of choice in naming his oldest son as I did.

Lauren Binger

Lauren A. Binger

Firm: Stuart & Branigin LLP

Practice area(s): Railroad litigation, employment law, tort defense, commercial litigation

Time in practice: 10 months

What do you like best about your job?

What I like best about my job is gaining experience in different areas of the law and working with other attorneys who are passionate and skilled in their respective fields.

What has been the best moment so far in your legal career?

The best moment so far in my legal career is seeing hard work and teamwork pay off with a favorable ruling.

Why are you a member of DTCI?

I became a member of DCTI to both network and participate in the many great events DCTI offers, including the DCTI Rookie Seminar, which I attended virtually in April.

Unforeseen hurdles of your first year as a lawyer?

The largest unforeseen hurdle of my first year as a lawyer is remembering to have confidence in your decisions and your abilities as a young lawyer.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be and why?

If I was not a lawyer, I would want a job that involved animals.

Fun fact about you:

When I was 17, I completed a scout trek for 12 days in New Mexico and covered 120 miles of terrain!

MacKenzie Johnson

MacKenzie Johnson

Firm: Jeselskis Brinkerhoff and Joseph, LLC (JBJ Legal)

Practice areas: Employment and labor law and business litigation

Time in practice: Less than one year

What do you like best about your job?

The flexibility of representing both plaintiffs and defendants and also being able to dabble in transactional work. I also enjoy being able to participate in cases that are brought in state, commercial and federal court.

What has been the best moment so far in your legal career?

I have not been practicing long, so right now the best moment is when I know what the next step should be — without anyone telling me.

Why are you a member of DTCI?

I became a member of DTCI after registering for the Rookie Seminar. I was told that the seminar would be very helpful to me as a first-year attorney. I found this to be true. I have since found that DTCI hosts a number of other helpful seminars, which I plan to take advantage of in the future.

Unforeseen hurdles of your first year as a lawyer?

I am discovering that clients are not always as responsive to phone calls or emails as I would like them to be.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be and why?

I would still be teaching. Before becoming an attorney, I was a special education teacher for five years for students with mild to severe disabilities.

What you wish you knew then … ?

There is not always caselaw exactly on point for every research issue.

Fun fact about you:

One of the items on my bucket list is to visit all of the MLB stadiums. I am currently at 10 of 30.

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