Shannon Callahan: Jenner & Block

highres_Shannon_Callahan_4450I primarily practice in ERISA Litigation and have done so for almost 10 years with Morgan Lewis – which is my entire career! I recently made a jump to become Litigation Counsel with Jenner & Block – and I’m looking forward to what’s next. My pro bono work is also a big part of my practice and I look forward to taking advantage of Jenner & Block’s impeccable pro bono reputation to see how I can contribute next.

How has your practice evolved in the last few years?

In the last few years, I think my practice has become more technologically oriented, more practical and even more client focused. We are continuously evolving to provide practical, real life solutions for important issues that meet our client’s goals but also are economically viable in terms of fees and business goals.

My personal practice has continued to focus on the personal. Understanding each client’s needs, wants, goals, and end game are critical to providing great client service.

If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?

I have so many I’m not sure I could pick one – I’ll narrow it to three. The first is hang in there – your first few years are the hardest, but as you become more senior and begin to understand what you are doing, everything seems easier. The second is, make time for yourself in a way that feeds your soul. We all need to veg out occasionally – and we should do that —  but finding something that provides meaning, peace, happiness in your life can spur success in leaps and bounds. The third is, don’t let this job define you – you get to pick who you are and you should stick with what resonates in your heart and your gut.

Work is work, but you are not made you by work. You are more than that.

What is the one technological device you could not function without?

My iPhone. My email is on there and I can FaceTime with my kids and family members that live far away.

How has civility made a difference in your practice of law? 

Civility is the practice of law – or at least it should be! At both Morgan Lewis and Jenner & Block, being professional, courteous, respectful, flexible and kind are cornerstones of what we believe and how we treat everyone – from our attorneys and staff to our clients, opposing counsel, and judges. I don’t think that’s true everywhere but I feel blessed to have had the training that instills those values. I think that practicing each of them makes a huge difference in quality of life for lawyers and results in happier clients.

I have had the experience of litigating against extraordinarily professional lawyers, whose courteousness made a difference for me personally both in terms of being able to see my kids every night for dinner, managing my workload respectfully for both myself and my associates and staff and just in terms of how much fun you have in your daily practice.

What do you do for fun?

I read and write, I practice yoga, I play with my kids, hanging with my adorable husband, and the puppy, yes, we have a puppy and three kids. Why did we get a puppy?  I also very much enjoy yoga, photography, decorating, floral design, learning about meditation, ayurvedic healing and above all, happiness. Happiness is a growing area of expertise and interest for me. I recently presented on this topic to students at Loyola Law School and hope to expand that presentation into an ongoing class.

 

Shannon Callahan recently joined Jenner & Block as ERISA Litigation Counsel. Ms. Callahan was on the trial team of the first stock drop case and has extensive experience in excessive fees litigation. She received her J.D. magna cum laude from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.

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2Civility is the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s communication channel. “2” because we are fostering transformation. “Civility” because it’s the moral code that binds us together as a society, and as the legal profession, encouraging a productive exchange of perspectives and rejecting disrespect for individuals or classes of people. We advance the highest standards of conduct among lawyers to better serve clients and society.
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