Lori R. Kilpeck talked to Attorney at Law Magazine to discuss her career and what she finds rewarding about her practice.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney? What drew you to this career?
Kilpeck: I knew from the age of 12 that I wanted to be an attorney as I was fascinated by the working of the legislature and court systems. I also liked seeing how attorneys could help others to reach solutions to their issues. My parents and husband were my biggest supporters to apply to law school and complete my dream of becoming an attorney as I was already working full time as a paralegal.
AALM: What drew you to your practice area?
Kilpeck: In law school, I became interested in estate planning and guardianships as an area of law where I could truly assist with planning for a client’s future as well as advising, counseling and helping at during very difficult times.
AALM: What do you find particularly rewarding about your practice?
Kilpeck: In estate and trust administration, the most rewarding part of my practice is being able to help, listen and counsel a client through a very difficult time. In estate planning, I find meeting with each client, addressing the particular needs of that client and creating an estate plan for that particular client to be very rewarding as every client has a different situation.
AALM: What do you find particularly challenging about your practice? How to you overcome these challenges?
Kilpeck: One of the biggest challenges remains balancing the needs of my clients with the needs of my family. Technology is wonderful but it also important to remember to find that balance as it can be difficult to shift gears so organization is crucial to maintaining that balance.
AALM: Tell us a little bit about your partners and your working relationship.
Kilpeck: I am very proud of Ziegler Metzger and becoming a partner this year. The firm is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year so the firm has become a family to many of us as we have worked together a long time. The partners support each other, operate as a team and work together for the best interest of our client. When I joined Ziegler Metzger, I was told that every partner has an open door and I have found that to be true, which is great as we all have different areas of expertise and experience.
AALM: Are you mentoring any younger attorneys? What lessons do you hope to teach them?
Kilpeck: Our firm encourages us to work with our associates. I also feel that my involvement in the bar associations also helps to mentor younger members. I hope to teach them to not hesitate or to be afraid to reach out and ask questions and to work together as well as to be prepared.
AALM: What accomplishment are you most proud of achieving?
Kilpeck: I am very proud to be a partner at Ziegler Metzger while raising my three daughters. I feel that I have achieved my dream of a successful legal career while balancing my family life.
AALM: What experiences have taught you the most?
Kilpeck: The experience that taught me the most was working full time while going to school full time to complete my undergraduate degree. This experience taught me perseverance, hard work, to be prepared and to be organized, which is a necessity as a practicing attorney.
AALM: Are there any changes coming in the future that you’re excited about?
Kilpeck: I am excited to be a new partner at Ziegler Metzger as well as being elected as a trustee for the Lake County Bar Association because both allow me to take a leadership role in planning for the future while helping others. I am looking to forward to working with new professionals and developing new connections.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies? Sports?
Kilpeck: Outside of the office, I am love spending time attending games and cheering for my three daughters – Mackenzie, 11, and Morgan and Madison, 9 – who are very involved with sports. I also enjoy volunteering at their school.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
Kilpeck: I hope to be a successful partner and continue on the legacy of Ziegler Metzger while counseling and meeting the needs of my clients.