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Attorney balances family and community service with professional life

CONTACT:  Kenneth A. Brown, OSBA, 800-282-6556 or 614-487-4426

Columbus, OHIO (Dec. 20, 2010) – Persistent, tenacious and focused. These three words were used to nominate Shawna L’Italien, the recent winner of the Ohio State Bar Foundation District 13 Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and under.

Much of what L’Italien accomplished she did as a single mother, working multiple jobs and relocating to Columbus for law school when her daughter, Ashley, was five years old. L’Italien attributes her success to having a strong support system. “I have been very fortunate to have been raised in a family that taught me perseverance and hard work, dedication and drive as well as provided me great support when I needed it through the rough times. Sometimes I look back now and wonder how I did it but am so glad I did.”

L’Italien’s success came early on in her journey to becoming an attorney. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mount Union and graduated ninth in her class at The Ohio State University College of Law.

L’Italien is a partner at Harrington, Hope and Mitchell in Salem. Her primary practice is business, corporate and commercial law. One of the most rewarding experiences in L’Italien’s  career is not in her current practice area. She worked on a case in which she was introduced to a family who was adopting children of American Indian descent, but faced complications due to the Indian Child Welfare Act. In the end L’Italien was able to help the family maneuver through the legal system so that they were able to adopt the children.  

An Ohio State Bar Association member since 1996, L’Italien is also active in the Mahoning County Bar Association. She serves on the board of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee and is a member of the President’s Club of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. L’Italien is also chair of the boards of the Salem Community Hospital and the United Community Scholarship Foundation and is second vice president of the Salem Kiwanis Club. She has received the ATHENA Award from the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber for her professional accomplishments and community service.  

L’Italien’s secret to making it all work? “Taking time to step back and make sure it is all balanced is necessary because I am confident that all of the aspects of what I do, my family, my professional life and my community service are very important.”

The Ohio State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 25,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio as well as nearly 4,000 legal assistants and law students. Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.

The Ohio State Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the Ohio State Bar Association. As a 501(c)(3), the OSBF uses grants and programs to improve the justice system, advance the law, and improve public understanding of the law.

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