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Turke leads fellow female attorneys as managing partner

By: Caley Clinton, [email protected]//June 23, 2011//

Turke leads fellow female attorneys as managing partner

By: Caley Clinton, [email protected]//June 23, 2011//

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

Mary Turke knows what women want.

The office managing partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Madison has helped organize shopping events and holiday markets for female clients through a women’s development group at the firm.

A recent event featuring designs from popular women’s handbag designer Kate Spade was a definite hit, she said.

“The days of just golfing are over,” Turke said of reaching out to existing and potential clients. “We’ve done shopping events where we’ll have a big party and then the women shop.”

The men of the firm are very supportive of such initiatives, she said, as Michael Best is a “very entrepreneurial” firm that supports out-of-the-box ideas.

“They recognize it’s adding value to the firm, not taking away from any client focus,” she said.

Turke and other members of the firm also reach out to potential clients through Venture Best, the firm’s emerging technology focus group. Startup companies can obtain legal services on a deferred payment system before they have financing, she said.

She and an associate also have started doing women’s summits, where they host dinners with entrepreneurial female clients who can share ideas and support one another.

“Through my life I’ve met so many women who have interesting businesses,” Turke said.

Mother to three daughters younger than 13, Turke has been with Michael Best for 13 years.

She took on the role as office managing partner this past August, and is the first woman to hold that title.

“It feels great,” Turke said. “I enjoy the job; it added a whole layer of administrative and managerial responsibility. And being the face and voice of the office in the community, I also enjoy that aspect.”

She now takes on a lot of the strategic roles at the firm’s Madison office, such as thinking of initiatives the firm should be doing in the community and deciding what groups they want to align with, she said.
“The schedule can be very difficult, but I love my job, I really enjoy it,” she said.

Turke is a great mentor to other women at the firm, said Lori Meddings, partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group.

“She’s very supportive and very respectful of personal schedules and personal time,” Meddings said. “You always need someone advocating for you, and I feel like Mary does that for me and other women at the firm.

She takes us under her wing.”


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