The path of aspiring ballerina to litigator is not a well-traveled one.
But Milwaukee family lawyer Catherine La Fleur successfully navigated her way from the stage to the courtroom.
When she decided to attend Marquette Law School, La Fleur was training to be a ballerina with the Milwaukee Ballet. But the former gymnast chose career longevity over artistic expression.
Twenty-three years later, her law practice is going strong and La Fleur acknowledged that her ballet career would, by now, have long been over.
After practicing with several local firms, La Fleur opened her own practice, La Fleur Law Office SC, in 1996, which she operated for six years before exploring other legal opportunities for five years.
She reopened the firm in 2007 and also has taught at Marquette Law School for the past decade.
La Fleur put her legal experience to work in this week’s Asked & Answered.
Wisconsin Law Journal: If you could develop one CLE course for credit, what would it be about?
Catherine La Fleur: A luncheon seminar, panel, for first-year lawyers to review expectations for them in the practice from both a business and legal standpoint as well as ethically to include billing, client communications, the hierarchy of the firm, rainmaking and do’s and don’ts.
WLJ: What was your least favorite course in law school and why?
La Fleur: Constitutional law. The teacher was frightening; always looked like he was going to jump over the podium. He is gone so may he rest in peace.
WLJ: What is your favorite website and why?
WLJ: What is the one luxury item you cannot live without?
La Fleur: Dark roast coffee.
WLJ: What is one thing attorneys should know that they won’t learn in law school?
La Fleur: To say “please” and “thank you”; often.
WLJ: What is the first concert you went to?
La Fleur: 1978 Eagles Hotel California Tour with the Eagles, Steve Miller Band, Pablo Cruise and Jefferson Starship
WLJ: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?
La Fleur: Sandra Day O’Connor; such beauty, grace and intelligence.
WLJ: What is your motto?
La Fleur: Live for today and always remember those less fortunate.
WLJ: What is your favorite movie about lawyers or the law and why?
La Fleur: My current favorite is “The Lincoln Lawyer” because I recently saw it. Never having practiced criminal law, I wonder if it is really that exciting.
WLJ: If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
La Fleur: I left coaching gymnastics and teaching dance to go to law school and had planned to be a stay-at-home mom, so maybe PTA president.
Jack Zemlicka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.