Janet Stellpflug is a partner at Ropers Majeski, an international law firm. She has defended corporate clients in a variety of civil matters and arbitration proceedings for more than 30 years. Her practice is focused on the defense of complex construction and product liability litigation. She is devoted to client-driven results, whether the need is risk prevention, early resolution, or trial. Her substantial civil trial and arbitration experience includes serving as first chair for more than 30 jury trials in state and federal courts in Minnesota and Wisconsin. During peak pandemic health and safety restrictions, Janet successfully defended a large international service and installation contractor in a jury trial and is fluent in evolving courtroom technology. Janet works with a wide variety of clients, including large construction companies, international manufacturers, high-profile non-profits, and small businesses.
AS A YOUNG GIRL OR TEENAGER, WHAT PROFESSION INTERESTED YOU AND WHY?
As a young girl, I loved horses and animals and thought I should be a large animal veterinarian. I still love animals and have two large dogs. They are always so happy, and I try to get in on that.
DESCRIBE AN EXPERIENCE THAT SHAPED OR CHANGED YOUR DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE.
My mom's best friend was a prominent Minneapolis physician, the medical director at a Minneapolis medical clinic. She took me under her wing when I moved to Minneapolis for college and brought me to meetings for Minneapolis professional women's groups. She also checked in and brought me to lunch occasionally, quietly making sure I was on the right track.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING ASPECTS OF YOUR PROFESSION?
People don't really think of the legal profession as a "helper" profession, but what we do is solve complex problems for people. It is satisfying to have clients value your work and rely on you and to have the ability to resolve problems for large, sophisticated clients.
DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT THAT YOU ARE VERY PROUD OF AND WHY, OR DESCRIBE A CHALLENGE THAT YOU’VE OVERCOME.
I mentor young trial lawyers to succeed in a very difficult practice area.
WHAT HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS?
Knowing exactly who I am and what I represent.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL (OUTSIDE OF WORK) ACCOMPLISHMENT THAT YOU ARE PROUD OF?
I am really good at ignoring a messy house.
WHY DO YOU SUPPORT THE ANN BANCROFT FOUNDATION? IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, WHAT VALUE DOES ABF OFFER GIRLS ACROSS MINNESOTA?
Opportunities for girls and young women lead to a more balanced society which benefits the entire world.
ABF ENCOURAGES GIRLS TO BE BOLD AND COURAGEOUS. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS OR EXPERIENCES WITH RISK-TAKING?
The fact that girls have to be encouraged to be bold and courageous when boys are praised for these attributes answers the question. Courage is an extremely valuable trait in most workplaces, especially courage to make decisions, which often involves a level of risk.
I don't really have any issues taking risks to reach an achievement. Decision-making and weighing the risks of various outcomes for others is part of what I do for my job.
WHAT ADVICE, PERSONAL AND/OR PROFESSIONAL, WOULD YOU GIVE TO PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ABF GRANTEES?
There will always be people who, because of their own ignorance, view women as lesser or weaker. What matters is how you view yourself. Tune out all that noise!!! It's no small task, but you can't let it form you.
LASTLY, WHY SHOULD OTHERS JOIN THE ABF POWHER PARTNERS THIS OCTOBER AND SUPPORT THIS CAMPAIGN?
The work of ABF helping girls and young women feel respected and supported is invaluable to their later success.