Paralegal, Sieben Grose Von Holtum & Carey
Angela Champagne-From’s routine walk from work to her car became a struggle for her life one day in April 2012.
The Sieben Grose Von Holtum & Carey paralegal was confronted by a man in a business suit in a downtown parking ramp who flashed a knife and attempted to abduct her.
She fought off her assailant, but not before suffering a 10-inch gash to her abdomen and losing half of her blood.
“I nearly died,” Champagne-From said.
Despite her traumatic attack, Champagne-From was back on the job part-time three months later.
“I worked hard to get back to work,” she said.
But it wasn’t just Champagne-From’s grit in returning to work that caught her colleagues’ attention.
Afterward, she began a campaign against women’s violence, touting the mantra “Fight Like a Girl” on a dedicated Facebook page, and she started doing public speaking.
Champagne-From, 30, “is sharing her story to inspire young women to fight like a girl as she did,” said Linda Whalen, the Sieben firm’s marketing director who nominated her for an Unsung Legal Hero award.
“Angela was alone but not helpless during her attack,” Whalen said in her nomination. “Now she is helping other women to learn to fight back.”
Following the attack, Champagne-From said, the hardest thing was “letting myself recover. I was also dealing with the psychological affect of the attack.”
More than a year later, Champagne-From said, she is still dealing with its physical and emotional toll. But it hasn’t stopped her from reaching goals and setting others.
Champagne-From, who has worked six years at the Sieben firm, graduated summa cum laude in May from Hamline University with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and women’s studies.
She said she intends to take the LSAT exam in October and plans to attend law school.
When she was 17 years old, she said, she “fell in love with the law” after visiting with her aunt, who was then a legal secretary at Lindquist & Vennum.
“Everything in my life to this point has pointed me to law school,” she said.