Meet Heidi Carpenter from Minnesota

Please tell us about your practice, and what you enjoy about the practice of law.

As a commercial attorney, I advise investors, start-up companies and closely held businesses of all sizes with a wide range of business, corporate, transactional and employment law matters. At my firm, Fafinski Mark & Johnson (FMJ), I serve as chief executive officer.

This combination of responsibilities means that no two days are the same. And while the issues, challenges and opportunities my clients and my firm face can be quite diverse, they have one thing in common: people. The best part of my job is that I can be in the rooms where consensus is achieved, where individuals with very different but strongly held goals can come together to find shared solutions.

What should people know about your firm?

FMJ was founded in 1999, with a primary goal: to provide the knowledge, experience and sophistication of a big firm, combined with the responsive, agile and customer-service-focused model of a smaller firm. We provide top-tier, accessible legal service and compelling value at a lower cost.

As a newer member of Ally Law, what does it mean for you to be a part of this network?

Nearly 25 years since our founding, FMJ remains committed to our core principles: maintaining control over the quality of our service; retaining our ability to adapt quickly; continuing to be a cost-effective legal alternative for our clients; preserving our culture; and keeping our voice.

As a smaller firm, however, we recognize that we are unable to be experts in all areas and we do not have offices in every city or country where our clients do business or are expanding. That was the one strategic advantage that Big Law firms had on us.

Ally Law embodies “the spirit of the small, the power of the big.” Membership in this group of like-minded law firms from across the globe enables us to substantially expand our bandwidth and expertise, and more effectively serve the needs of all of our clients, no matter where their business interests take them. We are looking forward to deepening our relationships with all of the impressive legal practitioners that make up this network.

On a personal note, can you tell us about something you’ve accomplished recently that was particularly challenging and exciting?

Two things come to mind: First, serving at the helm of FMJ for the past 18 months has taught me that, despite the mantle of leadership (and the accompanying titles), no one truly goes it alone. The success of our organization is largely due to the support, contributions and — quite frankly — leadership of every member of FMJ, no matter their formal responsibilities. Together, we’ve made great strides.

More personally, I recently participated in a clay shooting event. Prior to that, I had absolutely no experience with any kind of firearm, nor had any of the women on my team. From a purely technical perspective, we did not do particularly well. We did, however, overcome our fears.

I always encourage my own daughters, and the associates at FMJ, to attempt new, scary things. This event was the first time I’d asked the same of myself, and it was a great, re-learned lesson in the value of stepping outside of my comfort zone and simply showing up.

Founded: 1999
Member since: 2023
Lawyers: 36