When the Memphis Business Journal asked BPJ Associate Lani Lester why she became a lawyer as part of this year’s Best of the Bar edition, she admitted she began her career with a romantic idea of what a lawyer could do – be a modern-day knight, courageously fighting for just causes.

Then she learned about real-life legal crusaders like the civil rights attorneys and legal scholars Lani Guinier and Pauli Murray, and she realized that their courage, along with their legal work, “had a much more tangible impact on civil rights and my life than any fictional character ever could.” She has taken their inspiration into her own legal career.

Lester, whose BPJ practice areas include commercial and municipal litigation and personal injury, told MBJ that seeking out mentors as a young lawyer is key to growth in the profession; she has found many helpful guides inside the firm. She also points out the importance of listening carefully to be able to hear and discern a client’s desired outcome, then working to craft the appropriate litigation objective.

Lester graduated from law school at the University of Memphis. She is one of 25 local attorneys included in this year’s Best of the Bar edition; nominations are submitted by the public and winners chosen by MBJ editors.

Congratulations, Lani, on this well-deserved honor!