Alumnus Opens Private Law Practice
Joel Dendiu ’07 recently opened his own law practice in Mishawaka, Ind., called Mishawaka Law. Dendiu specializes in personal legal issues, primarily related to family law (such as divorces, guardianships, adoptions). He also handles estate planning and probate, bankruptcy, real estate transactions and general litigation. He strives not only to be a good attorney but also a good listener, serving his clients to the best of his ability.
“One of the things that people look for [in] an attorney is … a counselor,” says Dendiu. “Especially when it comes to family matters, even estate planning matters, they might be going through a really difficult time in their lives. I have to make sure that I keep a really nice balance between using my head and using my heart.”
He provides free consultations and does not charge by the hour. Since he offers flat rates and percentage fees, his clients never have to worry about inefficient service, increasing costs or surprises in a bill.
“I would see clients … get frustrated because they wouldn’t know how much something [was] going to cost them,” he says. “And I really like trying to make good use of my time and trying to be efficient, and billing by the hour kind of works against that.”
Dendiu received his J.D. from Notre Dame in 2013, graduating in the top 5 percent of his class. He and his wife Jamie (Bishop) Dendiu ’07 then moved to Chicago for about eight months, where he worked in a large law firm with 400 attorneys. In August 2014, the couple moved back to Mishawaka with their three children, where he worked as a law clerk in a local firm until he was fully licensed to practice law in Indiana. In October, he began working as an attorney with the same law firm, and in the middle of March 2015, he opened his own law practice.
A philosophy major at Bethel, Dendiu says his time as an undergraduate prepared him to serve his clients effectively.
“It was the atmosphere,” he says. “Not just being at a place where you get educated but you also get spiritually formed, I feel like that’s a very strong part of what Bethel is. It was impressed upon me so much that we were supposed to love God in a holistic way. In my philosophy classes, [I learned] that I was supposed to love and seek God in my mind, and I got the emotional and spiritual high in chapel.”
Now back in Mishawaka, Dendiu enjoys spending time with his family, as well as playing tennis, golf and basketball and ballroom dancing.