Partner Janette Lohman has been named among Law360 Tax Authority’s first-ever “Influential Women in Tax Law” list. The list profiles 14 women in tax law, “spotlighting attorneys who have provided outstanding service to their clients and the public, changing the dynamics at their workplaces while they did so.”
Law360’s profile of Janette highlights a number of Janette’s accomplishments, including her tenure as the second-youngest and first female director of the Missouri Department of Revenue. Janette told Law360 that her key to success is “just outworking everyone” — while maintaining a positive attitude. “I just worked really hard,” she said. “And for heaven’s sake, I have had a really exciting life.”
Janette said much of her success came from learning from her mentor, Olga Agatha Becker, who passed the Missouri Bar exam in 1933 but was refused work as a lawyer for many years. For Janette, Olga’s experiences helped put hers into perspective. “I thought that women who were in my generation had it much better than her generation, and I always felt very grateful that I was born when I was,” she said. “I never had an inferiority complex, and I would like to think I wasn’t at a disadvantage because of my gender.”
Law360 also spoke to a few of Janette’s colleagues and clients. “She is always there, [and] I will always say she is a good friend,” said Robert Espeland, Vice President at U.S. Bank. “If you need something around the clock, she’s going to be there.” Robert also described Janette as a “go-to” person for her work across the country with state agencies.
After working together for nearly a decade, Thompson Coburn partner Matt Landwehr described Janette as “the Mount Rushmore of state and local tax (SALT) lawyers in the U.S.” due to her vast network of colleagues and knowledge of SALT issues. Matt said Janette has earned that network by ensuring everyone is treated equally and with respect. “I think that’s part of why she’s been so successful, [because] it’s not like she’s doing it for some sort of gain; it’s who she is.” Matt said. “She can relate to anybody on any level … and that sets her apart from other people who may not have that ability to make that person they’re interacting with feel like they’re the most important person in the world.”
Janette shared with Law360 a business development strategy from very early in her career that she has continued to this day. After moving from the Department of Revenue into private practice, Janette realized she had to start from scratch to build a client base. During her first year of practice, she identified six people who helped her, and sent them chocolate during the Thanksgiving holiday, but it has evolved into the now famous holiday turkey cookies.
According to Law360, “The next year, the list grew to 20, followed by 40, 100, and now the list is over 1,400 people, but each box of cookies still comes with a handwritten note.” Never one to procrastinate, Janette begins writing the notes as early as September.
“As my practice grew, there were a lot of people who helped me along the way, and I remembered all of them and what every one of them did,” she said.
Janette has over 30 years’ experience practicing in all areas of state and local taxation, including representing clients before state and local taxing authorities in corporate and personal income, sales/use, ad valorem and municipal tax and license fee controversies. She currently serves as the President of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation and as the IPT’s liaison to the American Bar Association Executive Committee’s Taxation Section.
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