Attorney Jon Schmaltz became a partner of the Valparaiso law firm Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP in 2006 when he was only 32. He grew up in Michigan City and earned his undergraduate degree at Purdue University in 1996 before attending the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis. Schmaltz met his wife, a nurse at Porter Hospital, in Indianapolis and they moved back to the region so he could join his current firm.
“I already knew a couple attorneys at firm before making plans to go there and as I got to know the firm and its lawyers better it’s really what drew us here,” he says. “I like it here and the community is as good or better as anywhere else we might have ended up.”
Schmaltz chose a legal career because he discovered a passion for business and law during his time at Purdue.
“I had several professors who took the time to help me identify those passions and form personal and professional goals, one of which was to study law and enter the private practice,” he says.
Schmaltz said he was inspired by math professors in particular who helped him become aware of the importance of applying analytical and critical thinking skills across disciplines.
“I also had several adjunct professors – all lawyers – who gave me my first perspective on the legal profession,” he said.
Schmaltz specializes in business and real estate transactions, as well as some estate planning. What he enjoys most about his profession is its variety. No two days, two clients, and two legal matters are exactly the same.
“Sometimes the uncertainty that comes with the lack of a strict routine can be unsettling, but it drives me to do what I do,” he says.
Schmaltz says to become a success; one needs support from family and friends.
“For me, they are sources of encouragement from which I have learned the skills – and more importantly, the values – that have helped me in life,” he says. “I am surrounded by a bunch of wonderful people in my firm, in my community, and in my family – who I can emulate.”
Schmaltz is active on several boards and foundations. It’s his way of giving back to the community.
“Everyone has a different way of repaying what society gives, and that is mine,” he says. “It’s actually very enjoyable because I get the pleasure of getting to know and work with bright and inspiring people. I learn a lot, too, and it’s important that I pass along what I learn from those experiences.”
Schmaltz is the chairman of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. He was the founding director of the Valparaiso Chamber Foundation and serves on the Valparaiso Parks Board of Directors. He also serves on the National Purdue Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Other community involvements have included Indiana Leadership Forum Class of 2009, Purdue Club of Northwest Indiana, and St. Paul Catholic Church in Valparaiso, where he serves on the parish Pastoral Committee.
Professional activities have included the Indiana State Bar Association Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee and speaking engagements on real estate and business topics before attorneys' groups including the Indiana State Bar Association, title insurance agents, and others.
He also is the co-author of “Indiana Taxes Practice Insights.”
George Carberry, a partner in the firm, says Jon is a good partner and good attorney and will be an asset to the Northwest Indiana community for years to come.
“Jon has a superb recognition of professional accomplishment and community engagement,” he says. “My firm belief is that Jon will continue to accomplish much for his fellow Northwest Indiana citizens and will remain a center of influence throughout our region for many years to come.”
Rex Richards, Valparaiso Chamber Commerce president, says Schmaltz has an extremely keen sense of public policy issues in Northwest Indiana and he’s been very impressed with him as an emerging leader.
“He has become a recognized leader in not only his profession but in the positions of influence he has obtained due to his outstanding professional reputation and his leadership involvement in significant community and state-wide leadership positions,” Richards says. “Jon is greatly respected for his ability to analyze complex problems and provide successful tactical means to solve those complex problems. He is known as a person that solves problems quickly and can expedite opportunities even faster.”
Fellow attorney Daniel A. Gioia says Schmaltz supports the law firm and actively promotes its professional accomplishments. Schmaltz has been busy recruiting and interviewing new lawyers and candidates for associate attorney positions and summer associates and is also available to assist his partners and staff in a positive, loyal and dedicated manner, Gioia says.
“He has proven himself to be an asset to our organization and a valuable participant in all of the law firm’s undertakings,” he says. “Jon is most talented in almost everything he undertakes and he enjoys being a member of our noble profession.”
Schmaltz says his advice to others seeking to become a business success is to work hard and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
“We all to a certain degree earn what it is that we realize later in life a lot of times doesn’t come without the support of people,” he says.