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Meagher keeps her focus on the next generation

By: Justin Kern//June 23, 2011//

Meagher keeps her focus on the next generation

By: Justin Kern//June 23, 2011//

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(Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)
(Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

As far as Linda Meagher is concerned, no one is too young to understand and get involved in the law.

That includes you, Goldilocks.

Meagher, a 10-year attorney with Habush, Habush and Rottier’s personal injury practice, has made somewhat of a second law career sharing law lessons, whether they’re based on fairy tales for elementary school students or discussions of Black’s Law Dictionary with Marquette University law students.

In a more than two-decade career as a trial attorney, one of her proudest “legal” achievements happened out of the traditional court setting: coaching the all-girl mock trial team at Hustisford High School to a big regional showing.

“The school never placed at the regional competition in 10 years,” Meagher said. “In my first year as coach, they placed second, against Lodi, which seems to win every year.”

Community ties wrap around much of Meagher’s endeavors, whether she’s monitoring voter registration laws during elections, leading a Girl Scout troop or earning her red belt in tae kwon do, an accomplishment she said doubles as a way to spend time with her daughter.

Her community involvement also ripples back through her professional career. As a member of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, she was part of the Women’s Caucus charter group. In her career, largely as a trial attorney and focusing on medical malpractice, Meagher said, she’s seen a higher rate of attrition for female trial attorneys, who often are torn by demanding hours and family pressures.

Having experienced those same stresses — as well as the rewards of representing injured plaintiffs — Meagher said the Women’s Caucus has been an important way to help female attorneys.

Nicole Nelson, a first-year attorney, seconded that sentiment. During the crunch of law courses at Marquette, Nelson said, Meagher, her mentor through the caucus, was a critical sounding board.

As Nelson’s professional career has developed, she said, Meagher has offered her additional opportunities such as sitting in on closing arguments in a malpractice suit.

“It’s nice to see someone, a strong female, I can identify with and look up to,” Nelson said. “She’s one of the best in our profession, and the fact I’m able to speak with her, bounce ideas off of her, is something that’s really invaluable to someone who’s just starting out.”


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