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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2022 Trusted Advisers Up-and-Comer: Lillian Sweeney

Neale & Newman LLP

Posted online

As a clerk with Neale & Newman LLP in her second year of law school, Lillian Sweeney so impressed the partners they offered her a full-time position upon graduation in the spring of 2020.

Sweeney passed the bar in the summer and immediately began working as an attorney in both transactional and litigation areas, according to partner Judson Poppen, who says Sweeney especially excels in the area of intellectual property, including trademarks and copyrights.

It’s an area where Sweeney says she works hard to stay up to date by attending seminars and reading every article she can find. The digital environment known as the metaverse – including virtual and augmented reality and blockchain – is especially ripe for both exploration and caution.

“With the metaverse coming into existence, that not only opens up more possibilities for business but also brings with it many more opportunities to have a business’ intellectual property infringed upon,” she says.

“Having a firm grasp and understanding of how virtual reality is evolving and becoming more accessible is integral, as my clients will be looking to me to guide them through this new, emerging business avenue.”

In addition to the law surrounding intellectual property, both analog and virtual, Sweeney assists clients with the beginning foundations of their business as she helps them to establish their limited liability companies. Then, as her clients’ businesses grow, she advises them on contractual matters to protect their interests.

“I have been able to help my clients navigate the legal realm so they can focus on growing their businesses,” she says.

Additionally, Sweeney works in estate planning so that if something happens, her clients are prepared.

“This involves difficult questions, but ultimately provides a sense of relief for my clients, knowing their affairs are in order,” she says.

No matter the needs of each client, Sweeney says she approaches each as a unique person.

“I try to make sure I understand what is important to each individual client,” she says. “I do not want my clients to feel as though their needs were not met or their concerns were brushed aside.”

Sometimes, caring for clients means going the extra mile.

“I try to meet clients where they are at, which has included visits to the hospital after hours so they can sign important documents necessary to close big transactions,” she says.

Sweeney says her goal is to meet the expectations of her clients, while having the skills and knowledge needed to assist them with unique challenges and opportunities.

“My aspirations for the future are rooted in continuing to grow and develop as an attorney and use those skills to better the community,” she says. “Springfield is growing, which means there will be many more opportunities for businesses and individuals to flourish, and I would like to be someone my clients can trust and rely on to help them reach their goals.”

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