As a tax attorney and partner at one of Milwaukee’s largest law firms, Patricia Hintz realizes the perception might be that she represents only the area’s wealthiest individuals.
But Hintz’s focus at Quarles & Brady LLP, as well as her pro bono work, extends far beyond the firm’s affluent clients. A significant portion of her work involves representing tax-credit investors, particularly those involved in low-income housing projects.
During her career, Hintz has worked on hundreds of low-income tax credit projects, including working for the investors who razed and redeveloped Cabrini–Green, one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects.
“I consider myself really lucky to be involved in those projects,” Hintz said. “As a corporate attorney, you can feel like you are not having an impact on the community as a whole.”
Hintz began her career as a certified public accountant and rose through the ranks to tax manager. But after six years as a CPA, she decided to go to law school.
Having the rare combination of knowing the law and tax code has put Hintz in high demand.
In addition to the work she does at Quarles & Brady, Hintz spends 20 percent of her time providing pro bono services to various bar associations and nonprofit agencies, such as The Park People, the Milwaukee Chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association, the City of Milwaukee Ethics Board and the Center for Communication, Hearing & Deafness.
“To some degree, we all have a responsibility as lawyers to give back to the community where we live,” Hintz said. “There are not a lot of tax-trained lawyers in the city who can offer their services on a pro bono basis. At the same time, most accounting firms will not let their partners serve because they are afraid of the accountability.
“I can bring an interesting skill set that not a lot of people can offer.”
Alyce Katayama, an attorney at Quarles & Brady, said Hintz’s dedication to her community through pro bono work should be commended.
“Pat is an indefatigable source of sage advice for her clients,” Katayama said. “Tax law and exempt-organizations law is not always the most high-profile area of the legal profession. Pat has been an unsung heroine for far too long.”