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Celebrating our Administrative Professionals

Meet Emma Morris and Vicki Schroeder, standout team members at DeFur Voran! Discover their stories and contributions that make our workplace exceptional.


DeFur Voran Legal Assistant Emma Morris

Emma Morris – Legal Assistant, Fishers

What initially attracted you to work at DeFur Voran? – What initially attracted me to DeFur Voran was its sense of community, within the firm and with the communities it serves. The firm has a history of excellence and a positive reputation that it upholds through strict self-regulation and standards. I wanted to be a part of this tradition and saw an opportunity to help those around me.

What do you enjoy most about your role here? – What I enjoy most about my role at DeFur Voran is the opportunity to challenge myself while helping clients achieve their goals. It’s a two-for-one. Every case is a chance for me to gain more experience and knowledge and help make people happy and more at ease with their life goals.

How does DeFur Voran foster a sense of community among employees? – DeFur Voran fosters a sense of community among employees through its supportive and “all-in” mentality and culture. Everyone is willing to help each other and pitch in to get things done. From a client need, where further experience and expertise is needed to simply keeping the copy room clean, everyone steps up to help.

Outside of work, how do you like to recharge and relax? – Outside of work I like to read and run to relax. I got this from my parents. My mother named me after the Jane Austen book “Emma” and my parents met while running on the canal in Indianapolis.


DeFur Voran Legal Assistant Vickie Schroeder

Vicki Schroeder – Legal Assistant/Paralegal, Lafayette

What do you enjoy most about working at DeFur Voran, and what sets it apart from others? – I am entering my 39th year working for law firms. During my career, I have worked for all sizes including the large 350+ plus size firms. I worked for the last big size firm for 23 years and had quite a different position in Legal Professional Development. It was scary deciding to go to a smaller firm, take on a new role and to move to Lafayette. However, my father is 83 years old and needed some assistance. I worked for Gabe Eberhardt at that small firm here in Lafayette. While I loved working with Gabe, the small firm was not a good fit for me. When Gabe and Tracey asked if I would like to move with them to DeFur, I was excited. When I started at DeFur, everyone was so nice to me and helpful. At the first DeFur event I attended; many attorneys and other professionals came up to me to introduce themselves. That has never happened at any firm I have worked with. DeFur Voran is the right size for me at this stage in my career and life. I like the fact that there is open communication among attorneys and staff. People are pleasant and professional. I love working in the Lafayette office. I am allowed to work independently while knowing that John, Tracey and Gabe will always allow me to ask questions. When they review my work, they point out the changes, so I know what to NOT do next time. Not only do I feel like a member of the DeFur family, but the Lafayette office is also a close-knit family. We work hard but have a few laughs along the way.

What do you enjoy most about your role here? – Although there are some days it can feel a little overwhelming, I love the pace of Tracey and Gabe’s practices. There is never room to become bored. I enjoy the challenge that each new case brings as well as the sense of accomplishment I feel at the end of a case. I feel like the firm allows me to constantly learn. DeFur has many talented and passionate people. I am proud to be associated with a team of hardworking professionals.

How do you collaborate with your colleagues to achieve team goals? – Gabe and Tracey have busy practices. Along with their regular clients, they also are mediators and guardians ad litem for the Court. We all work together well because there is open communication. Communication is the key to successful collaboration. Gabe and Tracey are particularly good at keeping me in the loop on cases and it helps me manage their schedules and have files and documents ready when needed. I meet with them individually once a week, and we have created a case management chart that has become my bible. It helps all of us get a clearer picture as to the status of our many client matters and the immediate deadlines looming. John Stuckey is also incredibly good about giving me the “heads up” if there is something that will affect my day.

Outside of work, how do you like to recharge and relax? – I have a 32-year-old son, Alex Schroeder, who lives in Indianapolis. I enjoy going to visit him and his girlfriend, Christina. I also enjoy spending time with my extended family and my three cats, Henry, Jack and Onyx; well four, if you include the outside cat, Ann-Margaret, who I saved but she refuses to come inside. I recharge and relax each night by playing a round of Mahjong, and I am addicted to smart British police show series on BritBox.

Fun Fact – In high school, I was a Thespian and acted in school plays. I was a very shy teenager and acting brought me out of my shell. I wanted to move to New York City after high school to become a Broadway actress. However, I can not sing or dance so that limited my ability to perform on Broadway. So then, I wanted to be a librarian. However, someone reminded me that my job would be more than sitting and reading books all day. So instead, I attended school, got married, moved to Ohio and started working for the first law firm in my career in Findlay, Ohio where I had to use my shorthand skills. Thank goodness those shorthand days are over.