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Murshid strives for stronger unions

By: JESSICA STEPHEN//September 19, 2012//

Murshid strives for stronger unions

By: JESSICA STEPHEN//September 19, 2012//

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Wisconsin Law Journal photo/Kevin Harnack

The legislation that redefined labor law in Wisconsin also shaped much of Summer Murshid’s experience as a young lawyer.

“It’s been a horrible experience, as someone who really believes in unions and an organized work force,” said Murshid, an employment attorney with a focus on employment discrimination and regional class actions.

It’s been even worse for her mentors and bosses, who basically were forced to re-learn their trades after 30 years in practice.

“It was shocking for me, but it didn’t change my whole world like it did for my bosses,” Murshid said. “It goes to show, especially as a young attorney, everything can change. Nothing is constant. They don’t teach you that in law school.”

At a firm known for union representation, Murshid said it’s been a challenge to hear clients struggling and to know “there’s not a lot we can do.”

But there’s hope, she said.

“There’s still a lot of union work,” Murshid said. “It’s just a different kind of union work.”

Murshid has helped tenured employees win back their jobs after wrongful termination, and she worked on behalf of about 30 Spanish-speaking janitors, who alleged unpaid overtime and minimum wage violations.

Murshid also has written articles for her firm’s blog.

“It’s such a fantastic way to reach out to potential clients and people looking for information,” she said.

What is the best part about being an attorney?

I think it’s getting outcomes that your client wants.

What was your worst course in law school?

I would say my worst experience was probably Evidence.

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what do you think you would have chosen as a career path?

I would have loved to open a restaurant.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Shoes, without hesitation, not even blinking

What’s your favorite thing to do in Wisconsin?

Sit outside on a summer afternoon and, I’d say, have a beer, but I’m pregnant right now, so have a lemonade.

What is your greatest fear?

My therapist would have a lot to say about that. My answer is this: living life without integrity and practicing law without integrity. I never want to sell out.

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

I’m a micromanager. I could do a bit better at being slightly less controlling. Some people who know will laugh at that.

Which living person do you most admire?

It’s a cliché, but my mom. I am who I am today because of her. She raised me by herself.

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