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Berzowski is dedicated to service

By: Jack Zemlicka, [email protected]//February 16, 2011//

Berzowski is dedicated to service

By: Jack Zemlicka, [email protected]//February 16, 2011//

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Michael M. Berzowski – Weiss Berzowski Brady

Photo by Kevin Harnack
Photo by Kevin Harnack

Michael M. Berzowski didn’t give much thought to becoming a lawyer.

He enlisted in the United States Army shortly after college and also worked for two years as an accountant with Price Waterhouse.

“My father said, ‘OK, it’s time to go to law school,’” Berzowski said. “I had never thought about it, but I was so used to following orders in those days that I applied.”

He got in, but Berzowski didn’t take and pass the admissions exam at Marquette University Law School until after he had already attended classes for almost seven months.

He said then-Dean Robert Boden gave him a pass on the entry test after a 15-minute conversation.

“I’m not sure what I would have done had I flunked that test,” Berzowski joked.

After graduation, he felt obliged to “perpetuate the inequities” and has been a guest lecturer and served on numerous boards at his law school alma mater throughout a 40-year career.

He joined what was Lorinczi & Weiss in 1969 and became partner at Weiss Berzowski Brady four years later.

What attracted him to the Milwaukee firm was the support founder Robert Weiss had for the military.

“A lot of places weren’t like that and this firm really allowed me to pursue a dual track,” Berzowski said.

In his 35 years of active service in the Army Reserves, Berzowski achieved the rank of major general.

He counted his military experience as an asset in developing his managerial and leadership skills as the firm’s first managing partner in 2007.

Previously, Weiss Berzowski Brady had relied on a management committee to run the firm.

Berzowski, 71, ended his three-year run as head of the firm at the start of 2011 to focus on his business, employment and tax practice.

Without the administrative responsibilities, he hopes to slow things down to the point of a four-day work week, although that has yet to happen.

“I’m still here every day and work full-time,” he said. “But I’m not billing out a million hours and can work on what I want to work on.”

As for retirement talk, Berzowski isn’t having any of it.

“I’m not planning on winding down and dying anytime soon.”

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