Karen Renz, still in her 30s and already a partner at Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP, has a secret to juggling an exceptional career with family and community service: “My kids don’t go to bed early,” she says. Then she adds, laughing, “And, we don’t cook.”

Renz wants her children and all the people around her — women and men alike — to know that “having it all” can mean something different for everyone. “Having it all means you’re happy in the things you do, not kids and house or even the perfect job — you don’t have to have those things,” she says. “I am very lucky to have all that— plus a spouse that does at least 50 percent of the kid stuff — but you can have it all and that can mean something totally different.”

Renz practices corporate law with an emphasis in mergers and acquisitions. She also is currently the co-chair of both the Women’s Professional Development Group and the Media and Communications Industry Group. In her role as co-chair of the MCIG, Renz is responsible for organizing educational seminars to keep the group abreast of industry news. She also encourages less experienced lawyers to learn through practice by involving them in media and communications transactions.

When she first started at Graydon 11 years ago, men far outnumbered women associates. “We have a lot more female attorneys now. I’d say our associates are about 50-50, although I can’t say the same for partner,” she says.

Renz says she made a conscious decision early in her life to become an independent woman. While she never had a strong woman in her life whose lead she could follow while she was growing up, she’s always had a desire to serve as a role model for other professional women.

“I’m just trying to do the right thing,” she says. “Set a good example for people and make sure I can take care of myself. In the end, I can make my own money and take care of myself. That’s important to me, and I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where I couldn’t do that.”

Renz has two children — ages 4 and 5 — and volunteers with her two pet therapy golden retrievers, Sonny and Molson, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and area nursing homes. “A 100-pound dog in a hospital is a surprise, and most people really like it,” Renz says.

Renz hopes her example will help other women see they can have it all, too. “Lately, my daughter says she wants to grow up to be a doctor. She thinks that’s what you do. You grow up, you get a job,” Renz says. Renz’s daughter already knows she can do and be whatever she wants, regardless of the path she chooses.