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Lawless feels in tune with Midwest legal community

By: Jack Zemlicka, [email protected]//November 11, 2011//

Lawless feels in tune with Midwest legal community

By: Jack Zemlicka, [email protected]//November 11, 2011//

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(Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Milwaukee lawyer Lisa Lawless is an avid music fan and concert-goer, so an appropriate theme song for her professional career might be Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.”

Lawless, 44, has spent the last nine years with Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek SC, but has also practiced in Georgia and California after attending the Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington.

A native of Tulsa, Okla., Lawless also lived in Pennsylvania and went to undergraduate school in Virginia.

While she enjoyed her coastal experiences, and everything in between, Lawless said the Midwest best suits her professional and personal lifestyle.

As a business litigator, she characterized her courtroom style as assertive and confident – traits she gleaned from her early days in Atlanta and Silicon Valley. But Lawless also subscribes to the collegial values exhibited by lawyers in Wisconsin.

In this week’s Asked & Answered, Lawless sings the praises of Paul McCartney and recalled her first concert experience in Bethlehem, Pa.

Wisconsin Law Journal: If you could develop one CLE course for credit, what would it be about?
Lisa Lawless: Legal analysis, reasoning and writing in a hands-on format other than a lecture, so the attendees can get an insight into ways to approach legal issues, learning from each other.

WLJ: What was your least favorite course in law school and why?
Lawless: Family law was my least favorite because the very compelling personal issues didn’t seem to fit with legal analysis.

WLJ: What do you consider your biggest achievement to date and why?
Lawless: My family. My wonderful husband and beautiful daughters. And my law practice. I work with terrific people in a very supportive environment, doing work that challenges and interests me every day.

WLJ: What is the one luxury item you cannot live without?
Lawless: Attending music concerts and our music collection

WLJ: What is one thing attorneys should know that they won’t learn in law school?
Lawless: That law is an art. There is room for creativity in analyzing issues, advising clients and in written and oral advocacy.

WLJ: What is the first concert you went to?
Lawless: Loverboy and ZZ Top in January 1982 in Bethlehem, Pa.

WLJ: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?
Lawless: I would go back in time and trade places with Paul McCartney when he was writing the song “Let it Be.”

WLJ: What is your motto?
Lawless: Everything happens for a reason; there is a greater plan for each of us.

WLJ: What is your favorite movie about lawyers or the law and why?
Lawless: “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Gregory Peck’s understated, humble portrayal gave us Atticus Finch, an honorable, thoughtful advocate and a compassionate, caring father.

WLJ: If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
Lawless: An elementary school teacher or a journalist.

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