Mary E. Vandenack, CAP®

Position: Founding & Managing Member, CEO

Email: mvandenack@vwattys.com

vCard: View my vCard

Phone & Fax: 402.504.1300 / f 402.504.1935

Mary Vandenack brings extraordinary energy and focus to her work for clients. A founding member and the firm’s managing partner, Mary is an expert in the interrelated areas of tax, business, real estate, health care, private wealth, estate planning, business succession planning and asset protection planning. Acting as outside legal counsel for closely held businesses in conjunction with the ability to proactively address the legal issues of business owners is an area of special expertise. Mary is an innovator in the integration of technology into the practice of law. Under Vandenack’s guidance, the firm has been on the leading edge of client service and technology. Mary won the American Bar Association James I. Keane Award, presented at Techshow 2015, in recognition of her efforts in the area of e-lawyering.

Mary speaks and writes extensively in her areas of practice. She is a commentator for Leimberg Services, a nationally recognized publication in the area of tax, trusts and estates, benefits and asset protection planning. Mary serves as co-chair of the Futures Task Force for the American Bar Association Real Property Trusts and Estates Section. Mary serves on the American Bar Association Techshow Board and writes a leadership column for Law Practice Management Magazine. Mary also writes a column on estate planning, asset protection planning and business succession issues for Metro Magazine. Mary was named to Fortune Magazine Women Leaders in the Law in 2016.

In her spare time, Mary shares her love for health and wellness by teaching yoga, pilates and spinning. Mary also expresses her passion for health and wellness by the community activities that she supports. It is a rare occasion when Mary would miss a home Creighton Bluejays game or a College World Series game. Mary’s fulfilling personal and professional life was illustrated in a September 2014 interview with the Omaha Daily Record.

Mary graduated magna cum laude from Creighton University School of Law in 1992. She served as editor in chief of the Creighton Law Review, won a Domestic Moot Court competition as Best Oral Advocate and was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society. Vandenack received her bachelor’s degree in business and accounting, graduating summa cum laude from the College of Saint Mary.

The CAP® is the property of The American College of Financial Services, which reserves sole rights to its use, and is used by permission.

Education:

  • J.D. magna cum laude, Creighton University School of Law, 1992
    • Editor-in-Chief, Creighton Law Review
    • Best Oral Advocate, Domestic Moot Court
  • B.A. in Business and Accounting, summa cum laude, College of St. Mary, 1990
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Speaking Engagements, Presentations and Instruction:

  • Speaker – May 25, 2022 – “Enhancing Success with Healthy Boundaries”  Women of Legal Tech
  • Speaker – May 18, 2022 – Interview by DotCom Magazine
  • Speaker – April 29, 2022 – “Mindfulness” – ABA 2022 RPTE Spring Leadership Meeting, Dallas, Texas
  • Speaker – April 22, 2022 – “Mary Vandenack & Abigail O’Connor’s Review of Proceedings of the 56th Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning” – LISI Webinar
  • Speaker – January 20, 2022 – “Estate Planning, IRAs, & Trusts” – Society of FSP, Omaha Chapter
  • Speaker/Presenter – October 13, 2021 – “Future Implications from the 8th Circuit Court Holding in Strope-Robinson v. State Farm” – Nebraska State Bar Association Annual Meeting
  • Speaker – June 21, 2021 – “Mary Vandenack” – Interview by Andee Hoig, metroTV
  • Speaker – April 22, 2021 – “Managing Your Law Firm Through Change” – the digital edge podcast with Jim Calloway and Sharon Nelson
  • Speaker – February 16, 2021 – “Mindfulness” – Interview by Andee Hoig, metroTV
  • Speaker/Presenter – January 28, 2021 – “Third Party Trusts as Asset Protection Tools” – WealthCounsel®
  • Speaker/Presenter – January 12, 2021 – “Best Technologies for Practice Development” – Trust & Estates Virtual Forum with Martin Shenkman
  • Speaker/Presenter – October, 2020 – “Intersection of Estate Planning and Marital Planning” – Nebraska State Bar Association
  • Speaker/Presenter – September 30, 2020 – “8 Tech Traps and Tips Every Practitioner Must Know Now that You’ve Tackled Remote Working” – Shenkman Law, InterActive Legal, and Peak Trust Company Webinar
  • Speaker/Presenter – August 25, 2020 – “Best Practices for Preserving Client Intentions in Wealth Transfers” – WealthCounsel®
  • Moderator – June 17, 2020 – “The New PPP Timeline and Other Issues for Reopening Businesses” (recording continued) – Webinar for Vandenack Weaver
  • Moderator – May 15, 2020 – “Branding and Networking of Successful Women Attorneys: How did she do that?” – Webinar for 32nd Annual RPTE National CLE Conference
  • Presenter – May 14, 2020 — “Tech and Remote Work: More Practical and Actionable Tips You Can Take Now!” – Interactive Legal and Peak Trust Company Webinar
  • Presenter – April 27, 2020 – “Tech, Remote Work, and More: What Estate Planners Need to Know Now” – Interactive Legal and Peak Trust Company Webinar
  • Moderator – April 2, 2020 – “Update on Cares Act and Paycheck Protection Loans” – Vandenack Weaver Webinar
  • Moderator – March 30, 2020 – “Navigating Business Response to COVID-19 Legislation” – Vandenack Weaver Webinar
  • Moderator – March 24, 2020 – Avoiding Employment Litigation Webinar Series #4 – Harassment/#MeToo – Vandenack Weaver Webinar
  • Speaker/Presenter- February 26, 2020- “A Straightforward Approach to a Path in Legal Technology for Women”- ABA Women Rainmakers presenting Women of Legal Tech Summit 2020
  • Speaker/Presenter- February 21, 2020- “Rethinking Disposition of Trusts at Certain Ages: Approaches to Trust Design with an Asset Protection Focus” – Annual Creighton Law Review Symposium and Tepoel Lecture
  • Moderator/Presenter – January 28, 2020 – Best of ABA TECHSHOW Webinar – Ready for Process Automation? Start by Developing Checklists and Maps.
  • Moderator – October 17, 2019 – “Avoiding Employment Litigation webinar series #1” – Vandenack Weaver Webinar
  • Speaker – May 14, 2019 – “The Future of Estate Planning Practice” – Webinar for Purposeful Planning Institute
  • Speaker/Presenter – May 3, 2019 – “50 Lessons for Women Lawyers” – New York State Bar Association
  • Speaker/Presenter – April 16, 2019 – “Preserving Client Testamentary Intent” – Presentation at Omaha Estate Planning Council Breakfast Meeting
  • Speaker/Presenter – March 28, 2019 – “Avoiding Erosion of Testamentary Intent via Contractual Designation” – Presentation at the Society of Financial Service Professionals March 2019 Breakfast Meeting
  • Co-Presenter – March 7, 2019 – “Using Tech to Improve and Grow Your Estate Planning Practice – Part 2” – Webinar with Martin Shenkman
  • Speaker/Presenter – February 28, 2019 – “Process Automation Phase One: Developing Checklists and Maps” – ABA Techshow 2019 Presentation
  • Speaker/Presenter – February 28, 2019 – “Next Generation Technology for the Solo and Small Firm” – ABA Techshow 2019 Presentation
  • Speaker/Presenter – February 27, 2019 – “Designing the Law Firm of the Future: Diversity, Inclusion, Technology, and Innovation” – Women of Legal Tech Presentation
  • Presenter – January 29, 2019 – “Using Tech to Grow Your Estate Planning Practice” – Webinar
  • Speaker/Presenter – December 2018 – “Profitable Alternative Fees for the Process Oriented Lawyer” – OBA End of the Year CLE Presented by OBA Lawyer Referral Service
  • Speaker/Presenter – September 2018 – ABA Presentation “Future Proofing Your Law Firm”
  • Presenter/Panelist – September 13, 2018 – ABA Webinar: CE1809SFP Affordable Technology for Solo and Small Firm Productivity
  • Co-Speaker – July 10, 2018 – “Understanding What the 2017 Tax Reform Means to Your Firm” – Webinar for the Massachusetts Bar Associatio
  • Speaker- “Moving? Can I Take It with Me? Can I Use Something New? State Law Exemptions Under the Microscope”  – Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Symposia, May 2018
  • Moderator – May 2018 – “Essential Lawyering Skills for Today” – ABA RPTE COP Program
  • Speaker- “Understanding What the 2017 Tax Reform Means For You – 199A,” ABA Webinar April 2018
  • Speaker- “Mindful Leadership for Technology and Innovation” ABA TECHSHOW, March 2018
  • Speaker- “Alternative Fees for the Process-Oriented Firm” ABA TECHSHOW, March 2018
  • Speaker- “Affordable Technology for Small Firm Productivity” ABA TECHSHOW, March 2018
  • Speaker – “The Future of Legal Services” – Lawpact Futures Conference – November 2017
  • Speaker- “Contract Based Wealth Transfers & Erosion of Testamentary Intent” Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Symposia, April 2017
  • Speaker – “When Law Firms Merge”; “Panel Presentation: Future of Legal Services”; “Facilitator Trusts and Estates Community”; “Yoga for Technologists”; “Mindful Meditation” – ABA TECHSHOW March 2017
  • Speaker – “Alternative Fee Arrangements” for ABA RPTE Non-Tax Issues Committee Teleconference February 2017
  • Speaker – “Analysis of the ABA Report on the Future of Legal Services” Podcast, Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog, October 2016
  • Speaker – “Small Firms/Big Markets” Omaha Legal Professionals Association, October 2016
  • Speaker – “Implementing Alternative Billing in Your Law Practice” Legal Talk Network, New Solo Podcast October 2016
  • Speaker – “Small Firms/Big Markets” ISA and NSA Solo and Small Firm Conference 2016
  • Speaker – “Alternative Fees: Making Them Profitable” ISA and NSA Solo and Small Firm Conference 2016
  • Speaker – “Small Firms/Big Markets” ABA TECHSHOW March 2016
  • Speaker – “How to Compete with IBM Watson JD: Future-proof your practice by improving efficiency now – Part 1” ABA Law Practice January 2016
  • Speaker – “Business Succession Planning – Omaha Network January 2016
  • Speaker – “Technology in Law Practice: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” Omaha Bar Association December 2015
  • Speaker – “Estate Planning for Farmers” Hertz Management November 2015
  • Speaker – Future of Legal Services, ABA Law Practice Spring Meeting June 2015
  • Speaker – “How to Have a Full Plate in Life – without dropping anything off” College of Saint Mary Honor Student Program January 2015
  • Speaker – “Legal Issues for Businesses,” Midlands National Management Association, May 2008
  • Speaker – “Medical Records Guide,” Medical Group Presentations, 2008
  • Speaker – “Charitable Giving Considerations,” Charitable Organization Presentations, 2005
  • Speaker – “Estate Planning Guide,” Medical Group Presentations, 2005
  • Speaker – “Retirement Plan Design Considerations,” Firm Seminar, 2004
  • Speaker – “Estate Planning for Farm Assets,” Hertz Farm Management, Fall 2003
  • Speaker – “HIPAA Basics,” Medical Group Presentations, 2003
  • Speaker – “Estate Planning Considerations,” Saint Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church, Spring 2003
  • Speaker – “Estate Planning In Changing Times,” Archdiocese of Omaha, Fall 2002
  • Speaker – “Charitable Giving Strategies,” Wahoo Neumann Schools, Fall 2001
  • Instructor – “Legal Writing,” Creighton University School of Law, 1993-1994
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Editorial Roles:

  • Law Practice Magazine – Features Editor, 2013-present
  • Law Practice Magazine – Assistant Features Editor, 2012-2013
  • Law Practice Magazine – Editorial Board, 2011-present
  • Nebraska Lawyer – Issue Editor, various times
  • Creighton Law Review – Editor in Chief, 1992
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Honors and Awards:

  • Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers
  • Inducted into the Prestigious Marquis Who’s Who Biographical Registry 2022
  • Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent – Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence 2020
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2020
  • American Institute of Legal Counsel’s 10 Best in Nebraska for Client Satisfaction, Estate Planning Division
  • ABA LTRC Distinguished Women of Legal Tech 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America 2018 – Omaha Magazine, March/April 2018
  • Lawyers of Executive Distinction – Taxation – Lawyers of Distinction, June 2017
  • Lawyers of Executive Distinction – Trusts & Estates – Lawyers of Distinction, June 2017
  • College of Law Practice Management – Inducted 2017
  • Very Inspirational People, metroMAGAZINE, Summer 2017
  • 2017 Top Rated Lawyers, National Law Journal, March 2017
  • 2017 Women Leaders in the Law, Corporate Counsel Magazine, March 2017.
  • Martindale Hubbell AV Rating
  • Nebraska Cancer Coalition Partnership Award 2016.
  • Featured in Fortune Magazine “Women in Law,” September 15, 2015 Fortune Magazine.
  • James Keane Memorial Award March 2015 presented by American Bar Association Law Practice Division for innovation in technology in the practice of law.
  • Featured in: “You Know What They Say: If You Want Something Done, Ask a Busy Person,” Interview with Omaha Daily Record, September 5, 2014.
  • Best Dressed, Strictly Business Magazine, 2008

Other Publications:

Admissions:

  • Nebraska, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska, 1992
  • Michigan, 2007
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2016
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 2016
  • U.S. Tax Court, 2016

Professional Memberships

  • American Bar Association
    • Trust and Estate Division Assistant Secretary, Council, 2019
    • Group Co-Chair, Joint Law Practice Management Group, 2019
    • Liaison, Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems (SCOTIS) June 2018-present
    • Foundation Fellow, 2014-present
    • Co-Chair Real Property Trusts & Estates Section – Futures Task Force, 2016-present
    • Co-Chair Real Property Trusts & Estates Section – Technology & Economics of Practice, 2016-present
    • Vice Chair Real Property Trusts & Estates Section – Small Firms Committee, 2015-present
    • ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services, September 2014-September 2016
    • Vice Chair, Law Practice Division Resolutions Committee, 2014-2015
    • Vice Chair, Law Practice Division Futures Initiative, 2014-2015
    • Law Practice Division Executive Council, 2014-present
    • Law Practice Division Evolving Business Models Task Force, 2014-2015
    • ABA Commission on Youth at Risk, 2013-2016
    • Senior Editorial Board, Law Practice Magazine, September 2012-present
    • Vice Chair, Law Practice Magazine Board, September 2013-August 2014
    • Board of Directors, ABA Law Practice Management Section Women Rainmakers, 2011-2012
    • Member of Sections on Taxation, Business Law, International Law and Law Practice Division
  • Nebraska State Bar Association
      • Nebraska State Bar Foundation Lifetime Fellow
      • Foundation Fellow, 2015
      • Member of Sections on Real Estate, Trust and Probate Law, and Business Law
      • Lawyers’ Assistance Implementation Committee
      • Publications Committee
      • Chaired Women and the Law Section
      • Previous Officer of Business Law Section

Community Memberships, Organizations and Activities

Legal Publications

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