LEADERSHIP IN LAW 2021: Erica Woebse

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(IL photo/Eric Learned)

Erica Woebse

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

William & Mary Law School, 2014

Why did you decide to enter the legal profession?

I enjoy solving problems. Being a lawyer, especially a regulatory lawyer, is all about solving a client’s problems.

If you hadn’t pursued a legal career, what would you be doing?

I would be a teacher. I taught for a year between undergrad and law school at a bilingual high school in Malaga, Spain, and I loved it. I really enjoyed seeing the progress that students can make and seeing the pride that comes with such developments.

Who is someone who has inspired you in your career?

My husband. My husband is also an attorney. He works incredibly hard but never complains about the long hours or the stress. He is academically curious and always eager to tackle and master a new area of law for his clients.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Take a step back. Even when I’m answering a discrete legal question for a client, I think it’s helpful to take a step back and think of how this issue may impact other matters and issues for the client. To be a true business partner, I want to make sure I’ve addressed the specific question but also considered the big picture and how this issue could impact things that the client hasn’t thought about. I also think this is good life advice and a good way to get perspective when it feels like you are facing insurmountable obstacles.

What makes a good lawyer/judge?

Being intellectually curious and wanting to do the right thing.

How do you spend your free time?

When I’m not working, I’m chasing after my 9-month-old! I also love to enjoy all the great restaurants that Indianapolis has to offer with my family and friends, which has gotten easier because I have discovered that my kid will eat anything (seriously, pickles, Indian food, all cheeses … anything).

If you were an animal, what would you be?

A meerkat. They are intelligent, they believe in teamwork (they fight against predators in a group and work together to collect food and care for their young) and they are adorable.

Which superpower would you rather have: invisibility or the ability to read minds?

The ability to read minds. I think this would foster a better understanding of people.

What do you enjoy about serving on Barnes’ Legal Personnel Administrative Committee?

I enjoy seeing the tangible impacts that LPA makes. The purpose of LPA is to understand what changes the firm could institute to make Barnes an even better place to work. The Management Committee at Barnes is invested in listening to LPA and instituting real change.

What’s the benefit of being a certified information privacy professional?

In becoming a certified information privacy professional, I’ve learned about different privacy rules and regulations in a number of industries. This helps me issue spot for my clients and ensure that they have appropriately addressed potential privacy issues.•

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