Lisa A. Epps’ 17-year career in bankruptcy law began in law school, when she worked for a federal bankruptcy judge. She has encouraged women in both her practice area worldwide and within her firm to strive for leadership and success.
What are some of your proudest career accomplishments?While I an incredibly fortunate to have many proud accomplishments during my 17 years of practice, one of my proudest occurred very recently. A good friend called asking for my help because her daughter’s business and her daughter personally were the victims of a systematic and vicious cyber-bullying attack — she called me not because I am an expert in this area of the law, but because we have developed a close relationship, and she knew I would jump right on it. I quickly assembled an internal team, and together with our client, developed a multi-pronged strategy to combat this onslaught. When I was in the trenches with my client at her darkest hour, I witnessed her incredible strength of character and moxie, which inspired me even more to be there 24/7 for whatever she needed — legal advice, business advice, a place to vent and a shoulder to lean on. Together, we battle on — developing relationships and fostering teamwork define my practice. My client recently shared the following with me: “I went into this situation not understanding the impact an attorney could have on my life. As I got to work with Lisa, she was available all hours with instant response, and great legal advice, as well as reassurance we could survive this and to keep to our plan even when I wanted to lash back out. As we are rounding the corner in this crisis, I realize that in addition to outstanding legal advice, she was a life preserver for me when I couldn’t keep my head above water. My life has been changed forever, for the better, because of Lisa.”
Female partners account for a disproportionally small percentage of the partnership at large law firms, including Spencer Fane. As Chair of the Attorney Relations Committee, I recruit and mentor outstanding women with the goal of increasing the number of women partners in our firm. Through my work on the firm’s Compensation Committee, I promote a culture of success for our female associates and encourage our female attorneys to take leadership positions within their practice.
I am the driving force, founder and co-chair of the Midwest Network – IWIRC (International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation). IWIRC has 1,200 members worldwide and is the premier networking organization for women in this practice area. The IWIRC — Midwest Network has 35 members and provides a powerful networking resource for female attorneys, bankers, corporate turnaround professionals, financial advisors and other practitioners. This organization is a vital resource for women in my profession and provides leadership and guidance for personal and professional development.