Daniel M. Lechleiter, a patent attorney with Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal's Forty Under 40 Class of 2012.
Since his childhood, Lechleiter planned to become an engineer, the IBJ reported in its profile story on Lechleiter. In 2001, he earned a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Dayton and went on to work in the environmental products group of YSI Inc., a manufacturer of environmental monitoring and testing products. However, while working at an engineering co-op as a junior in college, Lechleiter realized that "the paths that I see in front of me are not the only paths that I want available to me in the future," he told the IBJ. He decided to explore patent law as a related alternative to engineering.
Lechleiter enrolled in the John Marshall Law School, where he earned a law degree cum laude in 2005 before joining Faegre Baker Daniels. He focuses his practice on patent litigation, counseling, licensing and applications.
"I still draw on a lot of my engineering background, but it's a fundamentally different thing than if I had remained an engineer," Lechleiter said. "It is more gratifying. We're external members of a lot of clients' internal business teams."
In addition to his law practice, Lechleiter is a dedicated community servant. He is a board member of the Indiana Historical Society, United Way of Central Indiana, Boy Scouts of America's Crossroads of America Council and Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory High School. His service at Brebeuf Jesuit allows him to give back to the school that "had such a big part in shaping me in the path that I took," Lechleiter told the IBJ. He also played a significant role in the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl as volunteer co-chair of the host committee.
In the future, Lechleiter wants to continue developing his patent law skills, guide his business clients and potentially run a business himself, the IBJ reported.
"I want to be able to help our clients run their businesses, and to me an extension of that could be working with a client on a more dedicated basis, whether it be in-house or just having a more significant role with particular clients," he said.
Lechleiter was selected for this honor from among nearly 250 applicants by the IBJ's selection committee. The Forty Under 40 Class of 2012 marks the 20th installment of this annual award.