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Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Salute to Women in Law

Ann Barron, Of Counsel, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C., Edwardsville

By CLIFFORD G. GATELY
    Ann Barron grew up in rural Illinois as the daughter of two teachers. She learned the value of a solid education, hard work and public service at an early age. She attended the University of Illinois originally planning to be a geneticist, but decided to try law instead.
p14 barronBarron    “While an undergraduate, I started studying at the College of Law and was hooked,” she said.
    After graduating from the University of Illinois’ College of Law in 1994, she spent the next two years clerking on the Illinois Supreme Court.
    Barron has had an interest in litigation, and particularly environmental litigation, since working in Southern Illinois for the first 10 years of her practice. During this time, she worked for two St. Louis area law firms, with her primary practice being in Madison and St. Clair Counties. She represented clients in environmental, class action, commercial and personal injury matters. She litigated cases regarding the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Act, and environmental contamination and nuisance cases.
    In 2007, she received an opportunity join an in-house law department for a large Texas independent oil refiner.
    “My in-house role provided significant insight into corporate decision-making as it relates to pending litigation and how to allocate resources between internal and external counsel and clients,” she said. Ann managed complex environmental, commercial, class action and tort litigation and was responsible for electronic discovery and electronic records, implementation, retention and destruction.
    “While I enjoyed being in-house, I missed the fast-paced day-to-day litigation practice. When my family decided to return to Illinois after our son graduated from college, I sought out a firm that would enable me to return to the courtroom,” she said.
    She joined Heyl Royster in 2013 as Of Counsel. She concentrates her practice in civil litigation, including environmental and business-related disputes, commercial litigation and medical malpractice litigation. “We are always trying to provide better services to our clients. Whether it be finding creative ways to resolve cases prior to large expenditures of attorneys’ fees or providing services in emerging areas such as hydraulic fracking.”
    Ann, her husband and their daughter currently live in Glen Carbon.
    “I love the flexibility Heyl Royster provides with being able to work in a dynamic law firm while having an office just minutes from our daughter’s school,” she said.
    She actively supports her community through volunteerism and leadership. She has served on several charitable boards involving children and has been an active participant in the University of Illinois College of Law Board of Visitors and Alumni Association.
    She is currently volunteering as her daughter’s fourth-grade volleyball coach for the local YMCA. Half-jokingly she said, “Coaching a youth team provides me with unique insights into how to handle disputes at all levels.”