For Hillary Vedvig, climate change is the defining threat of her lifetime.
“I am encouraged every day by the actions of individuals, local governments and our clients who understand that drastic action is needed now to avoid the most devastating impacts of a warming planet,” said Vedvig, an attorney in Foley & Lardner’s Madison office.
It’s fitting, then, that Vedvig is a member of the firm’s Environmental Regulation Practice Group, where she plays a major role helping clients on matters related to regulatory compliance, litigation, transactional matters and corporate governance.
Vedvig also stands out as an example throughout her career with her commitment to pro bono legal services. She took part in a class-action lawsuit, filed in 2018 by the Wisconsin ACLU, that sought to require Wisconsin to provide better parole opportunities to people sentenced to life in prison when they were juveniles.
“While I am learning a lot about litigation and strategy, working directly with clients who are facing incredibly difficult circumstances can be very emotionally taxing,” said Vedvig, who received her law degree from Yale University in 2017. “One of the biggest challenges I have faced in my career so far is being able to separate the emotion and compassion I feel for clients and being able to distill their stories into a compelling legal argument.
“I am encouraged that more people in the legal field are talking about mental health and self-care,” she added. “As lawyers, in order to be the best representative of our clients, we need to make sure that we are also taking care of ourselves.”
Linda Benfield, managing partner of the Milwaukee office of Foley & Lardner, said that Vedvig “has established herself as a creative, talented lawyer, and she is committed to making an impact within our firm and the broader community in diverse ways.”