Top Notch Education and Experience. I have never allowed challenges stand in the way of me getting to where I want to go. In 1997, I graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with a degree in Philosophy. During my time at UCLA I was married, had a baby, and commuted two and a half hours per day to attend school.
I then decided to attend the University of Michigan Law School. I believe I was the only person in my class who had a child; and for a large portion of my first year I attended school while single parenting my son while my husband was still in Los Angeles. I do not shy away from hard work. In 2000, I earned my juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School with the Book Award for the highest exam grade in employment relations.
I chose Milwaukee as my home and the place where I wanted to raise my son and Michael, Best and Friedrich, LLP as the firm where I learned how to practice law. I have never regretted that decision. I am still great friends with many of my mentors from my time at Michael Best, even when we are facing each other on opposing sides in the courtroom. I believe that attorneys should be able to go toe-to-toe in the courtroom to represent their clients well while also going to have a beer afterwards.
My philosophy is clients are human beings, not legal matters. While my style in the courtroom is very much the large firm style. Be thoroughly prepared and professional at all times while still being aggressive when my client needs that. I have developed into a practitioner that views my clients holistically as persons, not just a "legal matter."
I take the time to talk to potential clients over the phone, free of charge, to find out the nature of the legal issue. I do this to determine, before you spend any money, whether I believe I can help you.
From that initial telephone call on, I listen to what you have to say in order to determine the best strategy that meets your goals. If I do believe that I can assist you in achieving your goal, I schedule an office consult that lasts longer than a normal initial consult. I need to know all of the facts thoroughly in order to properly advise you with regard to strategy. As a result, there is generally a charge for this initial meeting. I believe we need to come up with an informed game-plan before you can make any decision with regard to moving forward with a matter and paying an initial retainer.
Straight-Shooter. I believe in being candid at all times with my clients. It is important to me that my clients and I are a good fit and are on the same page with regard to the representation. I'm not interested in telling you what you want to hear to get a retainer and to only then tell you the "truth" about your matter. If I do not believe it is worth it to you to spend money on a matter, I will tell you that outright. A large portion of my clients come to me after an unpleasant experience elsewhere.
After I have taken the time to get to know you, your legal matter, and what you are seeking, I work with you to develop a strategy that makes the most sense for you and your situation. It is from there that I build my services around meeting your goals. I don't jump when opposing counsel says to "jump". I don't push papers around to rack up a client's bill. Opposing counsel may not like that, but you are my client, not the other attorney. When I do billable work, it is because I'm moving my client's case forward in the direction that he or she wants.
A Maverick Personality that is Pragmatic. Very little intimidates me. I naturally gravitate to the "David" side of the "David and Goliath" battle. I'm comfortable going against large corporations with teams of attorneys, the Government, and people that believe they are more important than the rest of us, and I know from experience how to handle those types of cases.
Outside the Box Fee Structures. I work with my clients with regard to attorney's fees and costs, but I'm a pragmatist, not a push over or unwise business person. I do not provide free legal services. I'm not a non-profit organization, nor am I a volunteer. Rarely will it make business sense for me to take a case entirely on a contingency basis. If you are not willing to put your own finances at risk for you legal matter, then I don't believe you should expect someone else to do so.
However, I am at times willing to share that risk with my clients with strong cases where there is a fee-shifting provision under the law. Again, I listen to you, and try to find a solution that makes sense for both of us. I pride myself on attempting to deliver exception services at a cost that is less than what it would cost you for the same type of service across town.
I encourage open communication between me and my clients. I do not want you to feel like I'm hitting that timer every time you call me. I do not want a situation where a client is avoiding telling me something or seeking my advice regarding an evolving matter because of fees. As a result, I exercise flexibility in my billing practices to bill for communications in a way that makes sense to both me and you while encouraging open communication.
I'm not the type of attorney that always requires a large retainer up front that just sits in a client trust account. However, I do maintain a very firm practice of requiring my clients to pay their invoices on time through a credit or debit card. If a client fails to pay as promised, then I do promptly withdraw from the representation. This policy is necessary in order to employ the flexibility I utilize with regard to the amount that I bill each of my clients.
If this philosophy resonates with you, then I invite you to contact me and we can discuss your matter further.