His pride swells, Daniel O’Callaghan said, whenever he drives by University Square in Madison.
The 12-story, mixed-use redevelopment consists of upscale housing, university offices and retail space. It used to be an underused, slightly rundown retail complex with parking and a vacant lot.
O’Callaghan was part of the team representing the developer, Executive Management Inc., which partnered with the university on the complex, multimillion-dollar project that was completed in 2010.
After earning his bachelor’s in urban planning, O’Callaghan worked for the city of Milwaukee in its planning department for four years. The job required a great deal of interaction with land-use attorneys, and that prompted O’Callaghan’s law-school application.
“It was fascinating to watch them solve problems and resolve controversies in a way that not only advanced their clients’ interests, but also in a way that moved the community forward,” he said. “I thought, ‘I was to be involved in that.’”
O’Callaghan always has been interested in promoting affordable housing. To that end, he spearheaded the creation of a free legal clinic for homeowners facing foreclosure, as well as a foreclosure mediation program through the Dane County Bar Association. He received the association’s 2011 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award for those efforts.