Laura Lyons, Bell, Moore & Richter S.C.
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Laura Lyons, attorney/shareholder, Bell, Moore & Richter S.C.
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1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
The most challenging aspect of my job is also one of the best aspects: there is very little monotony. Every day is different, every case is different, and every problem is different. Depending on the issue it can be comforting or infuriating, but it is never boring!
By far the most rewarding part of my job is helping people. My practice primarily involves defending businesses and individuals who are being sued. It is a tough time for them and they often do not know what to expect. I like helping them through the process and getting them to the other side of it.
2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
There are many! Judy Faulkner of Epic is definitely on the list. I like her moxie. She is a visionary and her company’s growth is amazing. On top of it her offices are just the coolest. Also, I admire Howard Schultz of Starbucks because of his willingness to test out new concepts. On a more personal level I admire my dad. By way of his example I learned the importance of hard work and strong client relationships from an early age.
3. What has been the high point of your career so far?
While there are a few cases that come to mind, last year in its entirety beats them out.
Last year was the most challenging year, but also the most rewarding to date. I was essentially doing two jobs: In addition to growing and maintaining my book of business, I helped design our new 10,000-square-foot office space. Our internal design group was hands on throughout the process. For example, a few of us actually came in to work on the carpet tile over the Fourth of July holiday. The time and effort on the project were absolutely worth it — we love our new space. I have to admit, though, that I am quite happy to just practice law this year!
4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
I have always been driven and focused — two things that don’t always serve me well when unexpected issues arise. Looking back, I would give myself some pointers on how to deal with curveballs: namely, make a plan but be flexible. I have learned that everything works out, though it may not be in the way you expected.