A Choice To Challenge: Fennemore?s Stephanie Tribe

A Choice To Challenge: Fennemore’s Stephanie Tribe

As March 8 quickly approaches, Fennemore is proud to highlight some of the remarkable women in our firm in celebration of International Women’s Day. We recently talked with attorney Stephanie Tribe, who has been named chair of our trusts, estates and wealth preservation practice group. Tribe’s work focuses primarily in the areas of estate planning, taxation, and probate estates and trusts.

Fennemore is committed to an inclusive workplace where women can thrive. Diversity and inclusion is good for business, and it ensures that our clients receive creative ideas and innovative solutions from a broad spectrum of voices and backgrounds. This day is a also a call to action for accelerating women’s equality, and through our continuing efforts – with our daughters and mentees – we are dedicated to ensuring that careers in the legal profession are a great way for women to create significant change, and make an impact on our world.

We’re proud to share some insights from Tribe during this momentous – and hectic time in her life.

Tell us about your challenging new role here at Fennemore – and what’s your vision for Fennemore’s trusts and estates practice group?

Our practice is made up of really nice, exceptionally smart people. My role is to make sure they have the support they need to take care of our clients.

Our clients are facing some significant challenges in the coming years as a new administration and Congress contemplate significant tax law changes. We are here, and ready to help navigate these murky, shark-infested waters for our valued clients.

During this pandemic, trusts and estates has become one of the most in demand areas of the law. What are some of the biggest misconceptions? And what should individuals know?

Our practice group has indeed been extremely busy during the pandemic, but while this global health crisis amplified the awareness for wills and estate planning, there are also a lot of other factors that come into play.

What individuals should really know is that everyone, regardless of wealth, needs an estate plan. And keep in mind that you get what you pay for. There are a lot of headlines describing do-it-yourself estate planning disasters—don’t let that be you, and your loved ones. And finally, don’t neglect your retirement accounts. Following death, they pass outside of your will and trust (generally), by beneficiary designation. Make sure those accounts are up to date!

At this juncture in your career, what aspect of being a successful attorney gives you the most satisfaction?

I get to know my clients and be a part of their lives. I love that. Momentous life events, such as births, deaths, weddings, and divorces, are events that can have an impact on a person’s estate plan. So, I get called on when these things happen. Sharing the highs and lows with clients creates a connection that is really meaningful.

What was your first job?

Working on my parents’ farm. I started out working on the back of a potato harvester, but I eventually graduated to driving the combine during wheat harvest.

What would you tell the next generation of women preparing for careers in the law?

Go for it! It’s a great profession. The autonomy that careers in the law provide women are rare.

Who is your hero – or someone who inspires you the most?

Anyone who does the right thing—even when it’s really hard – and no one is looking.

Mentorship is critical in any profession, especially in the law. Who’s had the biggest impact on your career?

Former Fennemore attorney, Neil Hiller. He trusted me to do the work and showed me how to do it right.

Name the best piece of career advice that you’ve received as a lawyer?

When I was in law school, a wise female attorney helped me understand that I was choosing a demanding career, but one that allowed me to avoid sacrificing other important parts of my life, such as family and community service, if I was contentious about important decisions that would be coming my way.

Those decisions include where I would practice, where I would live, and what type of law I would practice. As these decisions presented themselves, I’ve kept that advice in mind. As a result, I’ve been able to build a career, while still being present for my children and able to participate in my community. I’m not perfect at striking the balance, but this advice certainly helped.

Fennemore proudly salutes Stephanie Tribe for being such a tremendous role model in our firm, and for making such a positive impact with our clients and in the community. On International Women’s Day – and every day – the female attorneys and allied legal professionals at Fennemore are part of the reason why our organization is so exceptional.

Are you ready to take care of your family through an estate plan? An estate plan can minimize taxes and expenses and help your loved ones avoid obstacles and headaches. For more information on our trusts and estates practice group leader, Stephanie Tribe, and our estate planning practice group team, please click here.