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Flexibility key to Laabs’ success

Steven   Laabs - Davis & Kuelthau SC (WLJ Photo by Kevin Harnack)

Steven   Laabs – Davis & Kuelthau SC (WLJ Photo by Kevin Harnack)

Steven Laabs is open to where life takes him.

Flexibility is a skill he honed in his career so far, and it’s coming in handy with his latest endeavor: fatherhood.

“I never was that person that had a road map about where I was going,” Laabs said. “I studied finance as an undergrad and then thought law school would be the way to go.”

After graduating from Marquette University Law School in 2008, Laabs intended to focus his practice on financial transactions, but the Great Recession hit just as he began working. So he adjusted, using each experience to build his growing legal practice at Davis & Kuelthau SC.

For example, the experience Laabs has gained working on bankruptcy cases is helpful when working on transaction cases, he said, where a bankruptcy may be involved.

“It’s all about helping clients and understanding where they are coming from,” he said. “Sometimes there’s an issue and it may be unclear whether it’s a business or legal issue. Clients appreciate that I understand their concerns.”

Working on multiple cases with multiple issues — plus the infant at home — is definitely a juggling act, but one Laabs said he enjoys.

“It’s all about prioritizing,” he said, “and figuring out what we need to do for each case and then tackle it.”

What is the best part of your job?

The variety. Being able to work on a variety of issues keeps things interesting and helps me broaden my skills.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Balancing work, family and professional development responsibilities. We have a new baby at home, which puts it in a new perspective. Whatever I do, I want to make sure I’m not neglecting any of my responsibilities, whether at work or home.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I want to be working on interesting and challenging projects with a great group of people around me.

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what do you think you would have done?

I’m not sure, but I’m guessing something in business. I have several family members in banking so that might have been a possibility.

Which living person do you most admire?

No single person. I try to take lessons from a variety of successful people I come across in my life. I see what others are doing and try to learn from them.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Wisconsin?

Getting outside and enjoying the good weather when we have it. I love the changing seasons we have in Wisconsin. I enjoy playing sports and getting outside and being active.


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