2014 Forty Under 40: Reynold ‘Ren’ Berry

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berry_reynold_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Early interest in law: Berry studied political science and history at Indiana University. “The kind of a degree,” he quipped, “that will make you a fine bartender.” After college, he actually did tend bar—at the downtown Champps Americana—while trying to do some real estate rehab and redevelopment. (He still rents out one of the houses he bought for investment.)

Bar to bar: He gave up mixing drinks to attend IU's Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. “Not a lot of people go to law school to become a debt collector,” Berry said. But he was happy to connect with Rubin & Levin in 2003 as a law clerk. “Ten years later, they haven’t gotten rid of me.”

Credit where due: “We typically represent the creditor,” Berry said. “It’s easy to say, ‘I’m broke.’ A lot of our job is establishing what is true. Whatever real estate fell through or widgets that were sold and not paid for, well, that ship has sailed. Our job is to get as much as we can back to port.”

AGE 34
Hometown: Indianapolis

Family: wife, Shelley Fraser-Berry; children Ezra, 4, and Estelle, 3

Support your local lawyer: Berry is chairman of the Young Lawyers Section Council for the Indiana State Bar Association. “Rubin & Levin always made it possible to do as much of that sort of thing as my heart desires as long as I got my work done at the office and that has only helped me want to do a better job for the firm.”

Clubbing: Berry also served as president of Sertoma Club of North Downtown, although he’s saddened by the lack of recent support for service organizations. “So many young professionals and employers don’t realize the importance of these groups. I blame my generation, the video game generation, that’s used to everything being done virtually with not enough reality. But giving back is part of what keeps Indy great. I hope that spirit isn’t something we lose.”•

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