2011 Forty Under 40 Winner: Samantha Gronewald
Friday, March 18, 2011 7:00 AM
Age 32 | Attorney/shareholder, Sullivan & Ward P.C.
For Samantha Gronewald, one of the most fulfilling aspects of practicing family law is “the opportunity to help people at one of the most difficult times of their life.”
Many times, Gronewald said, handling those types of cases “requires me to wear two hats: one as an attorney, one as a counselor.”
The Drake University Law School graduate joined Sullivan & Ward P.C. as an associate in June 2008, after practicing at another Des Moines firm for four years. In January 2010, she was named a shareholder at Sullivan & Ward, where she also handles a wide range of civil litigation.
Gronewald “possesses a fantastic work ethic, cheerful personality and a positive outlook,” wrote Matthew Gardner, a shareholder at the firm who nominated her. “All of us can learn from her always cheerful, yet humbling, demeanor.”
Law students at Drake have benefited from her mentorship. For the past two years, she has served as co-coach of Drake’s American Bar Association arbitration team. Last year, the Drake team won a regional competition and went on to finish fifth at a national tournament.
“Her commitment to students’ success was apparent at every practice,” wrote Emily Zerkel, a second-year Drake law student and arbitration team member. “She skillfully critiqued each member’s performance, assisted them in identifying their own style strengths, advised them of ways to develop their advocacy skills and helped students to understand the nuances of the law and legal profession.”
Gronewald also enjoys volunteering with children’s charities. She has served on the boards of the Child Abuse Prevention Council and has been a Mentor Iowa volunteer.
This year, she plans to become involved as an Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) volunteer, “My husband and I adopted a pet from ARL, and that was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” she said. “So I want to get involved to give back.”
Gronewal said she feels fortunate to have had such good role models in her parents, Sam and Jeanine Kain. “I learned a lot about integrity and how to conduct yourself in the business world,” she said.
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