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Women's Leadership InitiativeQ&A with Heather Heberlein

Heather Heberlein is a senior associate Porter Wright's Cleveland office. She concentrates her practice on creditors’ rights and bankruptcy. Working with creditors, debtors and financial institutions, Heather has built a successful practice by working alongside clients to resolve even the most complex legal matters.

Describe a pivotal moment that influenced your career path.

I was graduating law school in 2008—the country’s economy was in the middle of collapse and jobs were hard to come by. I had completed a summer clerkship at a regional firm after my second year in law school and was working at the firm during my third year. I decided to take a Business Bankruptcy Course (given the situation with the economy, that seemed like a logical choice). To my surprise, one of the firm’s equity partners was teaching the class as an adjunct professor. I ended up with the high A in the class and solidified a job offer.

What excites you about your new role with Porter Wright? 

I am excited for the expanded platform available at Porter Wright. It’s footprint is much larger than any other firm I have worked for and I am excited about what that means for my clients and potential new clients. I am also excited about the possibility of getting work on complex matters for the firm’s sophisticated existing clients.

What was the single most important thing that made you want to focus in your practice area?

I started my career as a debtor-side chapter 11 lawyer. When I came out of law school, there was a ton of work in the area as many businesses were forced to restructure or consider closing their doors and laying off employees. Working to try to turn a company around and save jobs through creative solutions with secured lenders and other constituents was challenging and fulfilling. 

Who are you outside of work?

Outside of work, I am a mother to four children and a rescue dog, an avid sports fan who loves Cleveland’s sports teams, and someone who loves finding new things to do in Cleveland (even though I’m Cleveland born and raised).