In Elizabeth Miles’ second week as a summer associate at Davis & Kuelthau SC, senior attorney Bill Mulligan gauged her interest in pursuing a billion dollar PCB remediation lawsuit on behalf of a municipal client.
“In my head, I was like, ‘I have no idea,’” she said. “Out loud, of course, I said, ‘Absolutely, I am interested in anything you want me to be interested in.’”
Now a full-time associate, Miles has continued with that case in a joint effort with colleagues across Milwaukee’s environmental law community. She also has branched out to take on winning work for Bayside and Whitefish Bay that ranges from intoxicated driving convictions to building code violations.
It’s a career far removed from her upbringing in Wasilla, Alaska (Sarah Palin was her mayor during high school), and academic pursuits at Duquesne and Boston College, where her outsider perspective of the legal community consisted of “lawyer jokes and lawyers as sharks.”
Now living on the East Side of Milwaukee with her husband, Ed Johns, and their Maine Coon cats, Miles’ exploration of her own legal career has erased those preconceived notions, she said, “especially of lawyers here in Wisconsin.”
What was your worst law school course?
If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you have done?
High school guidance counselor
What song is on heavy rotation on your iPod?
“Some Nights” by Fun
What can you spend hours doing that’s not law-related?
Happy hour with my friends on Fridays and bird watching
What was your favorite toy as a child?
My friend’s Nintendo
If you could be a superhero, who would you be?
What trait do you most like in others?
What is your greatest extravagance?
My Subaru Forester with a turbo-charged engine
Where would you like to live?
In summer, Alaska; in winter, Aruba
Who are your favorite writers?
Jonathan Franzen, Mary Doria Russell