2017 WOMAN OF INFLUENCE: Marti Starkey


In more than 36 years of practice, Starkey has racked up a shelf of awards, including being named 2017’s Distinguished Barrister by Indiana Lawyer. As the vision behind the Starkey Entrepreneurial Woman Awards, she’s shined a light on women business owners who have shown courage, tenacity and selflessness. Since its founding, the award has honored nearly 200 entrepreneurs and has led to the creation of the Starkey Entrepreneurial Woman Award Endowed Scholarship at the University of Evansville.

Rising up: After graduating with a bachelor’s in communications and German from the University of Evansville, a law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and a federal clerkship, Starkey started her will, trust and estate practice and remains at it today, “working with many of the same clients with whom I started all those years ago—and, of course, many others along the way. I was so grateful to my first law firm, which is now called Cohen & Malad, for allowing me the flexibility to grow my practice from scratch and to work with flexibility as I was also raising my daughter.”

starkey-box.gifTransitional moment: “After a huge trust and estate litigation case, about 20 years ago, I was burned out and thought I would retire from my law practice, move with my daughter to Seaside, Florida, and pursue art. My father encouraged me to stay with my law practice and to ‘pace myself.’ Those simple but wise words helped me so much, and I am very grateful that I stayed and did just that.”

Points of pride: “I was lead counsel for several high-profile trust and estate litigation cases, which each spanned several years and several states. All of the cases were resolved very positively for my clients and all took an enormous amount of energy, time and creativity in the practice of law. I am also proud of my 28 years with the Uniform Law Commission, serving with some of the best attorneys, judges and law professors in our country and helping to develop the law.”

Givebacks: Starkey leads a women’s Bible study in her neighborhood, which has proven very meaningful to her. She also serves or has served on boards including the University of Evansville, Wheeler Mission Ministries, Indianapolis Bar Association, Indianapolis Ballet Theatre and Indianapolis Children’s Theatre. She is also very involved with the Uniform Law Commission, serving on a number of drafting committees for the development of trust and estate law nationally. She serves the ULC as a Uniform Law Foundation Trustee and on the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trust & Estate Acts. “I choose selectively and carefully to make sure that the goals and missions align with my priorities and goals.”

Inspirational book: the Bible

Click here for more honorees.

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