Twenty Under 40 Q-and-A: Lauren Berkich of Berkich Lucey Law Group
- Name: Lauren Berkich
- Age: 36
- Profession/Title: Attorney and co-owner of Berkich Lucey Law Group
- Years in Reno/Northern Nevada: 18
RENO, Nev. — In November, the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network announced the winners of its annual Twenty Under 40 Awards.
With the region’s economic future in mind — and to ensure people of all ages, backgrounds and professions have a voice about the current state of business here — NNBW Reporter Kaleb M. Roedel set out this spring to conduct a Q-and-A with each of the 2019 winners.
Due to scheduling conflicts, we were not able to publish an interview with Twenty Under 40 winner Lauren Berkich until this week. Read the Q-and-A here:
Q: What do you see as the top one or two biggest economic development opportunities for Northern Nevada in 2020 and beyond?
Lauren Berkich: South Reno. I think that South Reno is an important area of redevelopment. There’s a ton of new homes going up in South Reno, there’s new schools, and there’s people wanting to do things in South Reno as opposed to driving downtown. I think that the restaurant scene and bar scene in South Reno is lacking. I think bringing more of a Midtown vibe to South Reno would be cool.
Q: Why is it important for younger professionals to have a seat at the table when it comes to the business community in Northern Nevada?
Berkich: I think I still have stuff to learn from older professionals. I’ve also been mentored in my career, whether it’s been officially in a law firm or unofficially getting advice from attorneys who’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for longer. And now I’m getting to the age where I’m actually able to mentor people as well. But, I think that in terms of the younger generation, I think we bring a different perspective to the older generation and then the older generation brings a different perspective to us.
I’ve always been pretty connected to the women in my life who have influenced me. The older women in my profession went through such a different experience than what I have gone through. I think that’s important to understand as a female attorney. They really paved the way in Northern Nevada in our industry.
Q: What under-the-radar industries have the biggest opportunity for growth in Northern Nevada?
Berkich: My answer would be small businesses. In Nevada, we’re continuing to grow and continuing to build our economy and our population, but our roots are still small town. Whether you’ve been here your whole life or been here for a few years, I think a lot of the reason that people are drawn to Northern Nevada is because of the small town feel, and we still have got the restaurants and the bars and the nightlife and the access to outdoor sports. I do think a lot of people who are attracted to Reno are attracted to the small businesses and they like that personal contact.
I have a family law practice and we have an office in Reno and Carson City. Even though we’re not always in both offices every day of the week, I think it’s important to have a presence in both cities.
Q: Where do you see the greater Reno-Sparks region in five years?
Berkich: I think we’re going to continue to see a huge influx of people relocating here from California, particularly, but maybe other states. I think we were already seeing an influx of people moving from California to Nevada — I would venture to guess because of taxes and the economic structure here for corporations.
Because of COVID-19, I think that people are maybe looking to leave the population density they find in cities and looking to move somewhere with more land. I could see an influx of out-of-state people moving to the area and probably an influx of expanding even farther outside the Reno-Carson area because we’re going to start needing to develop the areas outside of our immediate suburban, city areas.
Q: If you could change one thing for the better about your community, what would it be?
Berkich: I think that Reno is obviously growing and has a more urban, upscale, redeveloped-type environment. But, even in areas of downtown and Midtown, we still have those eyesores that need to be redeveloped. Obviously, every city is going to have its bad areas. I think we need more of what we’re doing, and obviously that takes time. I think the people redeveloping buildings and brining new restaurants and new bars and new retail … all the people bringing new business are what we need more of.
Editor’s note: This interview was edited and condensed slightly for clarity.
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