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Autumn Gear (Submitted photo)

2021 Up & Coming Attorneys: Autumn Gear

Although a relative newcomer to the practice of law, Barnes & Thornburg associate Autumn Gear has already made an impact.

At Barnes, Gear leads the team that covers software research and development and subsidiaries teams. In that role, she leads two dozen attorneys and business professionals.

It wasn’t an easy road to that destination. Gear thought about dentistry, but got an undergrad degree in industry management — “basically sales,” she said.

The teacher of a business law course at which she excelled encouraged her to consider law school. But even that didn’t completely pave the way.

“I came out of law school thinking that I didn’t want to do litigation,” Gear recalled. “I took a transactional position at Barnes. I ended up doing mostly litigation work and finding out that it wasn’t as scary as I thought.”

One recent case had her representing 3M during COVID to stop the production and distribution of counterfeit respirators and PPE. The teamwork she put together with her colleagues resulted in the seizure of thousands of counterfeit respirators throughout the state of Texas.

That work has been but one dimension for Gear. According to Gear’s colleagues, since 2020 she has also become one of the top pro bono practitioners in the firm.

Last year, Gear represented an indigent father who was trying to retain rights to his child — who had been placed for adoption. She took that case all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court and won.

“Pro bono work is a big part of what I do,” she said. “It really helps you feel like you’re making a difference.”

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