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Paul Dix, 39

Paul DixShareholder, Simmons Hanly Conroy

Location: Alton, Illinois

Practice Areas: Asbestos-related personal injury and wrongful death

Law School: Saint Louis University

Paul Dix manages a trial team of a dozen Simmons Hanly Conroy attorneys and staff who litigate mesothelioma cases in more than a dozen state and federal jurisdictions.

Representing individuals suffering from the incurable cancer, which is caused by exposure to asbestos, is a daunting task. Mesothelioma victims often have just months to live, so Dix and his team have a short window to get a multimillion-dollar case on file, conduct the necessary discovery and prepare for trial. A nominator writes that Dix has a “practical mastery when it comes to analyzing medical causation” in such cases.

His community service includes participating in organized efforts to provide free legal advice to residents of Madison County, Illinois, as well as offering pro bono representation on behalf of veterans in Madison County and surrounding areas.

What is something that would surprise people about you?

While in law school, I quit my job at a successful firm in order to take an unpaid internship clerking for the Illinois Supreme Court. It was an amazing experience, and it worked out in the end because the successful firm hired me back and I still work there today. Bonus surprise: I used to work as a professional blackjack dealer.

What inspired you to get involved in the legal profession?

As an undergraduate, I worked at a nonprofit legal clinic where we represented low-income clients in various civil matters — housing and family law being our main focus. It was here that I learned how the practice of law can be a force for good.

What is your favorite thing to do away from work?

Spending time with family and friends, especially in light of “remote everything,” is the most important thing for me. Peace and quiet are sometimes a close second, however.