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Dennis Harms, 39

Shareholder and chair of the health law practice group, Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard

Dennis HarmsLocation: St. Louis

Practice area(s): Health law

Law school: Saint Louis University

Dennis Harms has risen quickly through the ranks, becoming a shareholder and the practice group leader for the health law group at Sandberg Phoenix.

With a master’s degree in health information science, Harms has become an experienced medical-negligence defense trial lawyer and has earned rave reviews for his work defending health care providers and related organizations.

What also sets him apart, nominators say, is his dedication to community pursuits away from the office. Harms, who also serves as a volunteer public defender, has been appointed to the St. Louis Region Board of Directors for SSM Health, for which his father worked for more than 20 years.

He also has put in plenty of time helping with youth sports and activities, coaching several sports as his five children have grown. In fact, Harms said that if he hadn’t become a lawyer, he probably would be a high school teacher and coach.

One nominator said Harms has “probably logged more hours coaching sports than Tony La Russa,” adding: “These are unpaid coaching gigs that typically include a dose of over-the-top parents who think their son or daughter is the next Albert Pujols, but Dennis has volunteered his time as a coach for years.”

What advice do you have for young lawyers?

The time you spend making connections with other young lawyers is worth it. Get involved. Be of service.

What is something that would surprise people about you?  

I am a few months away from a master’s degree in health informatics (health information management, health information technology and data analytics).

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