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Home / 2012 Up and Coming Lawyers / Meierbachtol charts her own career path

Meierbachtol charts her own career path

Wisconsin Law Journal photo/Kevin Harnack

Tradition, according to Gina Meierbachtol’s legal career, is overrated.

“I didn’t want to wait 10 years to build my own practice,” she said. “I just wasn’t willing to follow the path of a normal associate and just take assignments.”

So the insurance and medical malpractice defense attorney sought out a firm that would let her juggle her family life — Meierbachtol and her husband have children ages 4, 21 months and 7 months — with her desire to try cases, including two when she was nine-months pregnant.

It’s an aggressive approach rooted in Meierbachtol’s past. She once managed group homes, and she was selling cars when she applied to law school. She had her first child by the time she graduated.

“I’m very competitive,” Meierbachtol said. “I like litigating because you can have a clear win.”

Her caseload includes contested Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints, personal injuries, construction defects and property damages.

“At the office, I kind of feel like I’ve got it made,” Meierbachtol said. “Then I go home and have my husband and three kids. I’ve got the dream life.

“I have to remind myself that I might be a little busier than I want to be, but I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.”


What was your worst course in law school?

My worst grade was first semester torts, which is funny because that’s what I do now.

What is your greatest extravagance?

To a mother of three? Time by myself. I really like beer and greasy food.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Wisconsin?

Drink beer and be outside.

What is your greatest fear?

I don’t want to ever have regrets. I don’t want to look back in 30 years and say, ‘I didn’t make enough time for my family and friends.’

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I interrupt people all the time. I think it’s because I’m the most impatient person I know.

What would you say if your children were interested in becoming lawyers?

I think I’d say, ‘I don’t care what you do as long as you enjoy what you do and enjoy your working environment and you are challenged.’ It would make me sick to think my kids decided to be lawyers just because that’s what their mom did. I just want my kids to have thought it through.

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