Kelly Hedberg went into the professional world with the intent of putting her college degree to work. Along the way, the vision of her future changed.
“I don’t know that there was a moment that sticks out for me,” Hedberg said. “(The law) was always an interest of mine, and after I graduated from business school and worked for a few years, I realized that I wanted a career that’s constantly changing.”
In 2000, Kelly earned her B.A. from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. Three years later, she entered the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University with plans to earn her Juris Doctor.
The decision helped forge her path to Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA where she currently works as a senior associate attorney with a practice focused on insurance law. She knew the return to school would improve her professional path.
“It was difficult to separate myself from my peers and watch them advance in their careers while I was held up in school, but I knew in the end I would be better off taking those three years away,” Hedberg said. “For me, it was a choice between an MBA and a law degree, and I knew in my heart I could do more with a law degree even if I didn’t end up being a lawyer.”
And Kelly did end up becoming a lawyer.
At RCDM, Kelly’s practice focuses on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, and she has significant experience defending corporations against claims involving personal injury, construction defect and other facets of commercial and business litigation. She works with companies of all sizes and has proven herself capable of developing and implementing cost-effective defense strategies that result in positive outcomes for clients.
Most importantly, Kelly found the variety in work she desired.
“With insurance, I am constantly being tugged into all of the different practice areas,” she said. “I have to stay up to speed in everything from construction, to assault, to professional liability because I have to be able to handle aspects of a matter ranging from analyzing exposure of insureds to analyzing coverage under policies. I think that’s what I enjoy about insurance law.”
“Most people don’t look at it that way. They think, ‘Insurance is pretty boring,’ but the policy is only one aspect of what I do.”
Not only does the type of work differ day to day, Kelly also serves clients across the country with a practice not necessarily rooted in Arizona. That fits well with her worldview. While in school at Ohio State, she took part in Semester at Sea that took her to 10 different countries and instilled in her a love of travel and appreciation of diverse cultures. So much so that her two children are currently enrolled in an international school and are bilingual. Kelly hopes to share many more travel experiences with them when they’re older.
“I’d like to expose them to many different cultures,” Hedberg said. “There’s more to the world than just where we live.”
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Kelly is an avid fan of the Cleveland Browns and Ohio State Buckeyes. Even though she lives in Phoenix, she hasn’t forgotten her roots, and credits her upbringing for influencing her approach to work and life.
Kelly’s family owned a metal-stamping company, and her father always stuck to the motto, “You start from the ground up.” Kelly relies on her entry-level work in the business world to inspire the legal work she does now for those same types of businesses.
In the end, her background and education have combined to help her build a law practice that revolves around her strengths.
“My time in the business world lends itself well to my practice,” she said. “A lot of my clients are large insurance companies, so I have to understand their business and the business of insurance. I take pride in relating to employees at all levels and being able to effectively communicate with them — regardless of their role at the company. That’s my job.”