Hometown: Deerfield, Illinois. Currently lives in Naples, Florida
Undergraduate Institution: University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign 
Current Employer: I currently have a consulting business, Berning & Affiliates as well as my law practice. 

Tell us about your time in the LLM program at Loyola.  
It was a whole new world for me and the program! After being out of school for ten years, it was invigorating and interesting to be diving into the program. I was based in San Francisco at the time, and I flew back and forth every week. I can remember reading a lot on long haul flights each way, being a part of the class John Blum taught. He was a true academic and I can clearly remember a small group of us talking through various topics he would address. For me, one of the highlights was having Ed Bryant as an instructor; he could give the most interesting birds-eye view of transactional work he was involved in. 

Why did you choose to attend Loyola?
The LLM program in health law had just been announced. At the time, I was deeply involved in a number of issues relating to the broad development of legal aspects of health care advertising, dental professional's succession planning, dental industry issues, providing services to the American Dental Association, and other related trade associations. I saw this degree as having the benefit of exposure as the scope of the program was a natural evolution in my career to work with ever more sophisticated clients in dentistry, the number two most numerous licensed health profession. 

In what ways has your career evolved over the last few years?
Dentistry remains, for me, the counterpoint to the more highly regulated hospital practice environment. Not only is it less regulated, but it flourishes  with many private practice settings and that includes today, the ongoing growth of multidisciplinary practice settings, multi-location formats, it’s really the most interesting and exciting time! This is my 36th year, so I have clients that I have served and developed and expanded their practices with. At this point, I provide continuity of counsel to the newer generation of the doctors coming along and participate in thinktank setting, forecasting the future. I’m working to develop web based information products so that the learning curve of those who come after me would be less arduous. 

What do you envision for the next few years? 
I’m looking to be of service to those that continue to stay in touch with me and then to utilize the web to its fullest advantage. Sharing a lot of the information and information products, so that it is captured for the people that are entering and exiting from the practice, will assist those that are looking at the newer forms. The whole profession itself is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds as it undertakes its development. 

What would be one piece of advice for young lawyers?
Being a part of the legal profession and practicing law can be great fun! From my standpoint, it has to work for you- and not the other way around. If there is a particular area of interest, one that excites a young professional or challenges the person that they want to be a part of, then they need to be authentic and pursue it. There is no interest that is too small, if anything the more narrow the area, the better, because in time you will become the dominant professional in the area. You may be concerned about earning potential, but if you take off and follow your interest than I can tell you that the money takes care of itself.


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