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Hanson finds success with old-school ethics

Diane M. Hanson - office manager, Boardman & Clark LLP’s Baraboo office

Diane M. Hanson – office manager, Boardman & Clark LLP’s Baraboo office

Diane M. Hanson gets more done before 8 a.m. than some people do all day.

It helps that she starts at 4 in the morning.

“My husband is an early riser,” said Hanson, Baraboo office manager for Boardman & Clark. “And there’s no one else at home anymore. The boys are gone. I figure I might as well get up and get to work.”

But that schedule, she said, works well for her.

“It’s stressful when we get busy, and I don’t like to be under a lot of stress,” Hanson said. “That’s what early morning hours allow me to do: be here by myself, work through things by myself and get ahead of the game.”

Hanson’s is an old-school approach, but not entirely unexpected from a woman who has been in the business for more than 37 years.

And she got into that business by chance while working at a bank in Sauk City.

“At that time, the law firms had an office at the bank,” Hanson said. “You don’t see that today. But the farmers would come in on Friday nights, get their banking done and then see the lawyer.”

Hanson also worked Friday nights, often typing up loans. And as she got to know the attorneys who visited the bank, she said, her reputation for hard work grew, and that led to a job offer.

“It’s very difficult to describe my work,” said Hanson, who added that she wants to retire later this year. “I’m changing light bulbs, fixing the toilet, filling in for the receptionist. I’m a legal secretary.”

Hanson said she’s happy to wear so many hats, a challenge she has embraced while still trying to stay abreast of evolving technology.

I still take shorthand,” she said, “so my lessons haven’t stopped.”

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