When Erica Allex was growing up on a farm near Millbank, South Dakota, she never expected she’d open a law office in Redwood Falls, Minnesota. “I wanted to go into veterinary, or be a professional singer,” she laughed last week, in her new office. However, in high school Allex joined the debate team, and found a path she enjoyed more. “I was on the speech team, and liked coming up with logical arguments, trying to approach a problem from both sides,” she said. In high school speech, she made it to the state finals in extemporaneous speech, “and afterward I felt I’d done a really good job.” As an undergraduate as South Dakota State University, Allex majored in history and political science, and was leaning toward going into teaching. “Then one of my teachers said, ‘Why aren’t you going into law?’”, as if it were a foregone conclusion. After law school at the University of South Dakota, Allex “wanted to work in a small firm. I’m not cut out for the corporate lifestyle. I grew up on a farm — I was in 4-H and FFA. “I wanted to stay in the midwest, in a small town.” Allex is in general practice, with experience in family, business, and ag law. She has been in Redwood Falls for three and a half years, starting as an associate at another law office, while her husband, David, is an engineer in Wood Lake. “I went independent two years ago, but I liked Redwood Falls and wanted to stay,” she said. Allex stayed at home when her daughter Madelyn was born, then took a position in Willmar before deciding to return to Redwood. “With the economy the way it is, I thought it would be best to stay in Redwood Falls, open my doors, and hang my shingle out.” Allex actually began taking on new clients last year, while working out of her home. “I was meeting with clients at the courthouse, but it was kind of getting awkward. It was better to have a space of my own.” The new office in downtown Redwood Falls also gave Allex a chance to indulge in one of her hobbies: refinishing furniture. She did much of the office decor herself. “When we started, this space was just an empty rectangle,” she said. “We’ve added interior walls and a bathroom. Right now I’m doing the last minute details, and working on my new website.” Allex plans on having an open house to show off her new office on June 16.