LEADERSHIP IN LAW 2020: Sarah Studzinski

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IL photo/Eric Learned

As a young attorney handling complex business, real estate and hospitality matters, Sarah Studzinski has earned a reputation for navigating multi-party negotiations with a deft drive to successfully complete big deals. She also is a leader in her firm and beyond in helping young attorneys develop to their full potential. She’s also active in the local arts scene, volunteering with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and other organizations.

What are some of the things you’ve done to increase opportunity for young lawyers?

As one of my firm’s delegates to Mackrell International, I helped organize a regional conference for young lawyers, and I am active in growing the Next Generation Group in the United States — the network’s young lawyers group that assists in connecting associates and junior partners in member firms across the United States and worldwide.

What got you interested in volunteering with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra?

I have a musical background, and I believe the arts are important to champion. For me, music is both healing and energizing, so I was drawn to the symphony when I moved to Indianapolis.

How do you find time for volunteer work?

My mother always said if something is important enough, you find the time for it. Sometimes it’s harder than others, but I just reprioritize that moment in time and make things work (sometimes!).

A colleague described your “determination and grace” in navigating a complex deal. What’s your secret?

No secret! Just practice in knowing what you can and cannot control and when to step back for a moment (which is still a work in progress) — whether it’s just to take a breath or go for a run, or even whip something up in the kitchen (I stress bake).

What do you most like to do when you have free time?

Either training for my next race or reading.

If you could change one law in Indiana, what would it be?

That’s a can of worms!

Who is someone who mentored you, and what did you learn from them?

One of my colleagues has mentored me since I joined the firm, and I have noticed over the years how he is always keeping in touch with people. He’s always following up, even if it is just a small note. It’s a great way to build your personal and professional network.

Where do you see yourself professionally in another 10 years?

I want to be respected in my field. Not necessarily the best, but someone who people not only enjoy working with, but want to work with.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Not to be afraid to open the door in front of you. Opportunity may come knocking, but you have to be willing to meet it.

What do you think you might be doing if you weren’t a lawyer?

Something creative definitively. I miss singing, but it would also be fun to be a Disney Imagineer designing new attractions. What they create is mind-boggling.•
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