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Kevin J. Palmersheim

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//March 8, 2010//

Kevin J. Palmersheim

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//March 8, 2010//

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Madison attorney Kevin J. Palmersheim’s idea of pro bono work isn’t simply lending his name to a board of directors.

The Haley Palmersheim SC lawyer often seeks out opportunities which utilize his expertise as a business attorney, but are also outside his comfort zone.

“I usually try to pick areas which I’m not necessarily all that familiar with,” he said. “Usually someone puts me in touch with an organization in serious need of some legal advice or business structure work and its board is often in disarray.”

Palmersheim recently helped local child abuse treatment organization, the Canopy Center, reorganize and is currently doing the same for Work Opportunity in Rural Communities, Inc., which finds jobs for individuals with developmental disabilities and provides subsequent training.

As a lawyer with a background in business, Palmersheim said his skill set gives him a unique opportunity to help sustain struggling businesses doing good work, which just need a little guidance.

While Palmersheim subscribes to the philosophy that pro bono work is part of an attorney’s professional responsibility, he takes satisfaction in supporting worthwhile causes.

He said his ability to shore up the business side of the organizations allows service providers to focus on what they do best.

In the case of the Canopy Center, Palmersheim said he got an intimate look at how the organization provides services and therapy to children and parents in abusive situations.

“When I started with them, they didn’t have direction,” he said. “Now, they have a good board and are run so smoothly.”

But Palmersheim conceded that the work isn’t purely altruistic. He typically only spends a couple of years working with an organization and at times he feels overcommitted.

In addition to his practice and pro bono endeavors, Palmersheim is deeply involved with the State Bar of Wisconsin as a four-year member of its Board of Governors.

He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Western District Bar Association and is past president of the Dane County Bar Association.

Still, he said he is always looking for another challenge.

“I think we take for granted the skills we have sometimes,” Palmersheim said.

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