Our featured speaker on this occasion is Andrew “Andy” C. Mallor, partner with Mallor Grodner LLP in Bloomington, Indiana. Andy shares his observations and experiences from 38 years of practicing law in Indiana, including his role as the chair of ICLEF’s Annual Family Law Institute.
Andy Mallor’s decision to pursue a law degree was sparked by a close family friend whose example made a lasting impression. By the time he had completed his undergraduate work at Indiana University-Bloomington he was sure of his goal to attend IU Law School. Andy was admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1974 and is still today convinced he made the right choice: “It’s a decision that was the best decision I could have made and I love doing it.”
Through exposure early in his career to several legal arenas, including personal injury, litigation, business and tax, Mr. Mallor defined his path, that being the family law and estate planning areas. While reflecting on a few of the changes in the landscape that effected his career, he had these comments: “In the 1980s I realized that the law was much too dynamic to allow the practice in as many areas as firms had done until that time and still be practicing at the level of competency that I wanted my firm to practice. That’s when we decided to specialize and I chose the family law and estate planning fields.” He points out that a key to success that he acquired early was that family law demands a broad base of competency in order to properly represent clients.
His passion for the practice of law is obvious in the way he goes about it. Andy’s credentials, honors and professional affiliations are numerous. He remains continually on the cutting edge of his specialty, leading certification and mediation efforts and providing guidance for younger lawyers and prospective lawyers, too.
One evolving area that earns Andy’s leadership is the movement towards collaborative law techniques in family law. He explained his dedication to this concept by saying: “It’s a very dynamic process and one that’s designed to help people move to the next plateau of their life with their dignity. In collaborative law what’s at a premium is collaboration and cooperation. ” He outlined how the collaborative techniques require that everyone involved “deal with the utmost integrity and forthrightness.” Continuing with…“It doesn’t mean that the cases are easier. But normally in those situations where people are committed to divorce with dignity and have the ability to realize how much hurt can be done on their children and on their families without divorce with dignity, it works. It works in about 99% of the cases.”
To hear Andy’s pointed comments about the Collaborative Law Technique click the video below.
As we continue this sketch of Andy Mallor, there are other focuses besides the law. Another facet is his “other full time job,” the clothing business. Yes, he owns a menswear store in Bloomington. “It’s my art. The clothing business let’s me escape the stress of divorce practice.” Add to this mix his commitment to giving back through community activities such as theater and charitable events. Andy says: “I think community involvement makes us all richer. It’s an important part of my life.” Obviously, he thrives on the fullest content of life.
His involvement in continuing legal education is another community enhancement that brings wide benefit. As chair of the popular ICLEF Family Law Institute, he provides not only his valuable expertise in the family law arena, but his leadership talents in guiding this excellent mainstay program. When asked to share his experience he responds: “I’ve gotten a lot more out of ICLEF than I’ve given to ICLEF… it allows me to stay in the game and be fresh… it allows me to keep my mind sharp.” You can hear a few more of Andy’s thoughts about his educational activities here by clicking the video below.
During our conversation we also touched on the impact of expanding technology on the legal profession. Andy remarks that “It makes the legal practice much more challenging.” He commented as to the lightening-speed growth of certain areas of law through technology. In his words, “for younger attorneys technology is everything.” He notes that the Family Law practice specifically is in the midst of technological advances. Andy gives an example of a portion of the upcoming Family Law Institute that will make the practice a little easier. This segment of the Institute will utilize computers in a demonstration of a new Statewide Financial Declaration. He talks briefly about his views on technological developments in the law in this video segment:
Asked for his thoughts with regard to ethical concerns that might arise from these technological developments, Andy responds: “I think ethically we are in for many changes due to the rapid pace with which information is being exchanged and the ability to find information within documents that you couldn’t do before.” He points to the many issues that are prominent now, for instance, redacting documents, meta data and respond all, just to mention a few… ”It’s very exciting, and it’s very challenging.”
His dedication to mentoring and fostering excellence in the legal profession complete an accurate depiction of Andy’s career. So how does today’s law firm set standards and influence the younger members of the firm? Does Mallor Grodner have a plan? He explains that his firm’s mentoring program assigns a partner to work with young lawyers to develop future leaders in their selected fields of law. They have high expectations for the lawyers with which the firm associates and mentor them towards the specific areas where they have strengths. In our closing conversation below, Andy shares some valuable insights from his extensive experience in the family law field.
Thanks again to Andy Mallor for both his contributions to ICLEF and for sharing his life experience with us in this Speaker Spotlight. His formula for success in the practice of law is good advice for whatever we attempt in life: “A good sense of humor… a strong family life… never hold a grudge… work in the present… forget the past.”