Paralegal celebrates 50 years with local law firm


As Carol Lambring celebrates her 50th year with Montgomery, Elsner and Pardieck on Monday, many describe her as the ultimate cheerleader.

“My mom knows how to take the good qualities that God gave us and make them shine,” youngest daughter Courtney Fust said.

Lambring was born in 1955 in the small community of Wegan, southeast of Brownstown, on a lively dairy farm. Being the second oldest of five siblings, she was raised with a hard work ethic as she took care of the many animals and helped out in the fields.

Her parents, Marvin and Norma Wischmeier, made sure she had opportunities for success, keeping her active in 4-H throughout her childhood. Growing up, she attended Lutheran Central School through elementary and middle school before taking on her passion for cheerleading at Brownstown Central High School.

It wasn’t too long after graduating from high school that Lambring landed herself a secretary position at Montgomery, Elsner and Pardieck in Seymour. That was in 1973 when she was 18.

She met the love of her life, James Lambring, a self-employed farmer and former bus driver for St. John’s Sauers Lutheran School. They were married July 22, 1978.

After six years taking phone calls and scheduling meetings, the law firm saw the potential for Lambring to become a paralegal. In 1979, she graduated from the Institute of Paralegal Training in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first school of its kind in the country.

Ken Layton, a retired attorney for Montgomery, Elsner and Pardieck, said Lambring became the first certified paralegal in the state of Indiana.

“She was my right hand, right arm, right brain. She was just a true professional,” he said. “She would just take the initiative, and she was excellent with reading body language when selecting the jury for a trial.”

Layton said Carol has one of the most industrious work ethics that he ever had the pleasure of working with, recalling she had many early morning chores on the farm before coming into work and then heading back home again to finish chores after work.

“She would do all of that and get up the next day to do it all over again,” he said.

Attorney Tom Lantz started at Montgomery, Elsner and Pardieck a year before Lambring, and since Day 1 of her start at the firm, he said she was aggressive in learning all aspects of the job necessary.

“If you wanted to find an employee in your office who is as dedicated to our clients and the firm, it’s Carol,” Lantz said.

He said her dedication to the firm and its clients extended far beyond a 40-hour week and described her as the type of person to work on Sundays if need be.

“She is a class act, and the combination of the way she treats our clients and how she gets the job done is tremendous,” he said.

Attorney Susan Sparks said Lambring became her paralegal after she joined the firm in 2002 in the medical malpractice area.

“When I joined the firm, she already had worked as a paralegal for a number of years and knew the law exceptionally well,” Sparks said.

She said she has known Lambring as a woman with an abundance of energy, and her dedication to the clients, the firm and expanding her knowledge of the law makes her an exceptional co-worker and friend.

“Our clients become like family to us, and she is so well known in the community, her dedication to them is wonderful,” she said.

Sparks recalled a time when Lambring’s input into a trial was instrumental in obtaining a verdict the team had been hoping for.

“She’s my best friend as well as being my paralegal,” she said. “There is no boss and paralegal dynamic. We are a team and have developed a strong bond as a team.”

Sparks said her support as a paralegal has helped her be successful as an attorney, and she enjoys working alongside her best friend.

Besides being a profound paralegal, Lambring is the type of woman who doesn’t sit still for long. While the Lambrings were raising three children, two girls and one boy, she had them involved in many sports and activities.

Encouraging her kids to strive for success, she decided to take that cheerful energy to Seymour High School, where she became a cheer coach for a number of years.

Both daughters, her oldest, Jamey Doriot, and Fust, picked up the passion and the pom-poms during their years of high school, while her son, Chris Lambring, played basketball and many other sports.

“She kept us busy with lots of activities and was always very engaged with us growing up,” Doriot said. “She was just always present.”

Lambring became cheerleading head coach for Seymour High School in the early 2000s. The Owls cheer squad took home many national titles and trophies.

Bethany Lambert, a 2006 SHS graduate, said Lambring took over as head coach her sophomore year, but she has known the Lambring family for more than 30 years, as she participated in gymnastics with Fust when she was 5 and cheered with Doriot in college.

“She was an incredible coach and full of energy,” Lambert said. “She changed the cheer program by taking us to competitions.”

Fust said one of the coolest accomplishments during her time cheering was in 2005 when the cheer squad won two national titles that season in the Cheersport national competition held in Atlanta, Georgia, that is known as one of the largest cheer competitions in the country.

“She expected a lot out of us and encouraged us every day,” Fust said. “She was also the kind of person that you can talk to and expect love in return.”

Fust and Lambert both recalled many times that Carol knew how to keep the energy up and keep the party going. As the team would load up in Lambring’s minivan, the two recalled countless times when she would turn up the music and drum to the beat of a song on the steering wheel using plastic straws.

“She was absolutely wild, and looking back on that now, she knew how to encourage us through energy and laughter,” Fust said.

Lambert now lives in Greenwood and works as a physician assistant at Franciscan Health, but she said without the dedication Lambring instilled in her, she wouldn’t have found a passion for cheering as she continued to do so through college.

“She changed everything for me and instilled a passion and pride for the sport for me,” Lambert said.

Lambring continued to push and encourage the squad to new heights, helping them with their résumés for college and involving them in community service.

If Carol’s dedication to the law firm and the future of cheerleading for young women wasn’t enough, she strives to be a positive and constant force in not only the lives of her children but her grandchildren.

“She has such a strong passion and love for her grandchildren,” Chris said. “She refuses to miss anything. She will drive anywhere to catch a kids event.”

To this day, Lambring takes off work every Friday and works extra hours through the week to spend the day with her eight grandchildren.

“I truly think it’s her calling and her passion in spending time with her grandchildren,” Chris said.

For the last nine years, the Lambrings have traveled to the sandy beaches of Hilton Head in South Carolina, a place Lambring often visited with her siblings growing up.

Doriot said the most important lesson her mom, also known as “Grammie” to the grandkids, taught her was dedicating a life to Christ and the motivation to keep going even when she is doubtful.

“Anything she does, it’s never halfway. She goes all in at everything she sets her mind to,” Fust said. “She wanted us to be good people.”

Chris said the mentality of working hard to succeed has been passed on through the family, and it is something for which he is eternally grateful.

The character of Lambring goes to show anything is possible with someone cheering you on from the sidelines.

No posts to display