Attorney at Law Magazine First Coast sat down with Lauren Danilchenko to discuss her career in the latest Rising Star interview.
AALM: What drew you to Murphy & Ellis, PLLC?
LD: My first impression of James Murphy and Rob Ellis was that they are intelligent, decisive counsel. My second impression was that they are really good guys. Whether dealing with opposing counsel on a heated issue or advising a friendly client, Rob has a wonderful demeanor that I hope to emulate. Rob is an approachable, empathic listener who is a zealous advocate for his clients. Rob does good work in the community by volunteering at the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Eviction Clinic and does good work for his clients by getting results. James is a brilliant straight shooter who does not have the time to mince words. He does, however, make the time to mentor me. James is a skilled advocate whose handle on complex business transactions is unparalleled. With his leadership, I have become a better writer, advocate and professional.
AALM: What is a trait that the partners have that you would like to carry through to the next generation of lawyers?
LD: James and Rob are well read, capable of independent, creative thought and are not reliant on Google or their iPhones.
AALM: Of the cases you’ve worked on or witnessed, what has stood out most in your mind?
LD: The most remarkable case involved a client who concurrently received a windfall from a scratch off ticket and a tragic, terminal illness. Despite the young client’s prognosis, he remained steadfast and retained the firm to ensure that his estate would provide for his family after his death. I worked closely with the client’s father, a Holocaust survivor, whose fortitude is tremendous. This client and his family taught me how to embrace life’s impermanence.
AALM: Who is your mentor? What is the best lesson that they’ve taught you so far?
LD: My dad, Steve Busey, is my mentor and the best lesson that he taught me is the importance of a lawyer’s work ethic. When my dad was a young associate at the Bedell Firm, he worked closely with Chester Bedell. One Super Bowl Sunday, my dad was in Mr. Bedell’s office working on a brief. My dad was hosting a gathering for the game that evening and it was getting late in the afternoon. With work left to be done, my dad said to Mr. Bedell, “I think that the game is going to start soon.” Mr. Bedell responded, “What game?” My dad did not reply and they kept working. This anecdote reminds us that our profession requires us to prioritize our client’s needs before our own.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
LD: My husband, Vlad, and I are athletes. In our free time, Vlad excels as a brown belt in Ju-Jitsu and I teach cycle and yoga classes at the Winston Family YMCA.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
LD: One day, I hope to be a mother who is like my own, Jean Busey. My mom seamlessly balanced her career as Executive Director of Smith Hulsey & Busey and her role as my supportive, selfless mom for over 30 years. I would not be who I am today without her love and support.