My legal career is taking another non-traditional turn as I start a mediation practice, Denk Mediation Solutions, but this decision is deliberate and fits perfectly with my past experience and long term goals. Since graduating from law school in 1991, my career has been exciting and challenging, taking turns both planned and unplanned.
When I wrote an article for the Chicago Bar Association Journal in 1996 about taking a ‘road less traveled’ as an attorney, I had no idea that I would be a claims professional for 11 years, run for political office, second chair a medical malpractice trial in Cook County, stay home to be a Mom more hours than I worked as my children entered their teens, work for the family business part time and start a mediation business. Being open to opportunity and seeking new challenges is a hallmark of my legal career. Much of what I wrote then, regarding constantly learning and evaluating is still true for anyone who may not fit into the typical legal position at a law firm, or perhaps for them too. Here is link to the original article:Hilary Denk, Beyond the Law—A Litigator’s Path to a Non-Legal Career, 10 CBA REC., Feb.-Mar. 1996, at 36.
Right now, the Illinois State Bar Association is taking comments from members about the law school curriculum and what changes should be made. For any attorney, no matter what the planned path, optional business and marketing classes are needed, as well as internships in non-traditional environments. As my Father said to me while I was contemplating attending law school, you can do just about anything with a law degree, however it would have been helpful to have received support for that notion from my law school. Perhaps this latest examination of the traditional law school curriculum is recognition that the law firm path is not available or desirable for every law student.
I am excited to be continuing on my unique path by starting Denk Mediation Solutions. I have excellent training and have been resolving matters for many years. I am passionate about offering conflict resolution services for all types of business disputes or transitions and look forward to providing this service for years to come.