Hamline law alumna Stephanie A. Haedt was named an "Up and Coming Attorney" by Minnesota Lawyer earlier this month. This article, by Jane Pribek, is provided with permission from Minnesota Lawyer.
Attorney Stephanie A. Haedt has come full circle. She used to represent plantiffs exclusively in employment law in the fast-paced Twin Cities legal community. These days Haedt, a shareholder with Peterson, Savelkoul & Benda in Albert Lea, represents employers and practices in a small town.
It agrees with her.
"I have seen what plantiffs' attorneys look for when pursuing actions, and with that point of view, I can better help our local businesses avoid those pitfalls," she says.
As for her work in a smaller community, she says, "The practice of law is very different outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Here, we know the court clerks by name; we deal with the same opposing counsel; and we all get together every two weeks for bar luncheons. There's also a much better balance in my life between work and family."
In addition to her employment law practice, Haedt handles family law cases and civil litigation.
Haedt, originally from nearby Austin, demonstrates her investment in her (somewhat) new community with her volunteer commitments and her four years of service on the Human Rights Commission.
She provides pro bono services for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services through its Pro Se Divorce Clinics and by accepting pro bono referrals. In 2008, Haedt was one of the attorneys who donated the most hours to SMRLS. But Haedt is quick to deflect that limelight, noting that her firm is the only one in Albert Lea where 100 percent of the attorneys donate time regularly to legal services--it's just a critical part of her firm's culture.
"I enjoy doing it," she says. "These are people in need who otherwise would not have legal services available to them."
She also is a member of the 2008-09 Community Leadership Program through the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce. That service brings her together with a number of community leaders.
It's been amazingly instructive for Haedt.
"It is amazing to discover the resources within the area that are available, that I otherwise would not have known about. That's important for me as an attorney, because information is power. The more I know aobut the resources and issues that affect our community, the better I can serve my clients."
Her husband, Dustin Haedt, works at Hormel Foods in Austin, where they also reside. They have a two-year-old daughter, Brenna.