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Edward L. Wright, Jr., is a 2009–2010 ABA YLD Scholar and a Milwaukee County District Attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
By Edward L. Wright, Jr.
It’s hard to know exactly when a young lawyer has crossed the line from being a consummate professional to becoming a major force in his or her respective practice. One Dallas attorney has built an impressive track record founded on legal skill, leadership, dedication, hard work, commitment, and a sense of community involvement. Cheryl Camin, a shareholder at Winstead PC in the Healthcare Industry Group and Corporate Securities/Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group, is that person.
Attorney Camin’s practice focuses on health-care matters, advising providers and businesses on entity formation and on structural, contractual, and regulatory health-care issues. Her experience includes counseling clients on fraud and abuse, illegal remuneration, HIPAA, the HITECH Act, and Stark Law matters, as well as compliance with state and federal health laws. She represents hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, physicians, pharmacies, insurance companies, third-party administrators, wellness companies, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceuticals companies, and various other health-care providers and entities on business, regulatory, legislative, and administrative law issues. Camin often speaks, is published, and provides training seminars to clients on technology, privacy, security issues, and, in particular, on HIPAA compliance matters.
Most recently, Camin was presented an award as one of two 2009 American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) National Outstanding Young Lawyer finalists. The award recognizes an ABA young lawyer who exhibits professional excellence; service to the profession, bar, and community; the advancement of legal ethics; and who has a reputation for professional responsibility.
Camin’s professional accomplishments are impressive to say the least. She is a co-founder of the Dallas Bar Association Public Forum Committee and the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Freedom Run. She received the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers 2009 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, was listed as a Texas Rising Star and a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly, and was named as a “Best Lawyer Under 40” by D Magazine.
Recently I had the pleasure and opportunity to speak with Camin regarding her professional involvement, public service, and personal inspirations.
What attracted you to your current practice?
Camin: I was an intern with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General and worked with attorneys who prosecuted and negotiated settlements in connection with Medicare fraud cases. This experience sparked my interest in health law and started me on my career path as a health law attorney.
What was the inspiration behind the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Freedom Run, which has raised $162,000 since its inception for the Assist the Officer Foundation of the Dallas Police Department?
Camin: In 2001, I was a member of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers leadership class, and we were tasked with developing a class project. After the tragic events of September 11, we felt that, given the issues the country was dealing with at the time, we would create the Freedom Run, a 5k run and festival. The Freedom Run was an opportunity for us to unite and honor the heroes and victims of 9/11 as well as those who sacrifice their lives on a daily basis locally and abroad for the citizens of this country. The Assist the Officer Foundation of the Dallas Police Department was, and continues to be, the beneficiary of this event.
What drives you to be so active in your local and state bars?
Camin: The opportunity to give back to my community and profession. Through bar activities, I am able to create and participate in activities and projects that make a difference and which, I hope, benefit to the best of my ability our profession and society.
Who inspires you?
Camin: My grandfather, who became an attorney at a time when he could go from high school to law school without having to have an undergraduate degree. Interestingly, he was so young when he graduated from law school that he was too young to sit for the bar exam. He became an attorney because he truly enjoyed helping people. As an exceptional person, professional, and leader in his community, I try to model myself after him. He was a selfless man, who was always giving to and thinking of others.
What advice would you give a new attorney?
Camin: Do your research. When interviewing for a job or clerking for a firm, ask and observe what your projects and goals would be as an associate. But also be forward thinking, and find out what your career would be like as a senior associate and as a partner as you work your way up the ranks. Your goals and opportunities in your position will change as you gain experience, and you should know how the organization where you work will value you each step of the way.
Professionally, get involved early with professional groups, mentoring programs, and extracurricular activities that benefit a cause that you are passionate about and that will expand your horizons and provide you with leadership opportunities.
Being an attorney is much more than research and writing memos, it’s a career that allows you to give back in many, many ways. In addition, look for mentorship programs within your local bar and in your community. As a young attorney a mentor would be an enormous benefit to help you reach your goals.
What message do you want other attorneys to come away with when they encounter your work?
Camin: I hope my clients and colleagues see me as a good listener, problem solver, and friend, who they enjoy working with and who provides high-quality work that makes their jobs easier. Also, I hope others think of me as someone who gives back to my profession and the community because I sincerely care and enjoy doing so.
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In her short time as an attorney, Cheryl Camin, through her personal and professional involvements, has had a significant impact on her community and her profession. The profession is fortunate to have her and can only be enhanced for years to come through her tireless commitment to the legal profession and her selfless dedication and hard work for the community.
Thank you, Attorney Camin!
Nominate your organization’s outstanding young lawyer for the 2010 ABA YLD National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award by August 31, 2010. For more information visit, www.abanet.org/yld/awards/noyla/ .