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For Scott, good lawyering starts with listening

By: Beth Kevit, [email protected]//June 11, 2015//

For Scott, good lawyering starts with listening

By: Beth Kevit, [email protected]//June 11, 2015//

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Denasha Scott, Stafford Rosenbaum
Denasha Scott, Stafford Rosenbaum (Staff Photo by Kevin Harnack)

Denasha Scott never assumes she knows what a client wants. In large part because of her willingness to listen, Scott, who specializes in estate-planning and business law, has risen to team leader of Stafford Rosenbaum LLP’s Business Law Practice Group and is now a member of the firm’s board of directors.

“Oftentimes, people and lawyers are not necessarily real good listeners. They tend to just start providing advice,” said Chris Hughes, the firm’s managing partner.

Scott, however, tries to remember that people are always at the heart of estate planning and business representation. Without understanding personal motivations, she said, she would not be able to help clients achieve their goals.

“I spend time with them. I listen,” Scott said. “I think one of the most important things an attorney can do is listen to their clients.”

That said, Scott’s attributes extend beyond being able simply to listen, Hughes said, and include guiding a conversation to ensure a client has provided all the information needed to ensure he or she can receive the best representation possible.

“It’s not being too quick to provide advice before you understand the whole situation. It’s having enough experience to know when to ask additional questions and draw additional information out of a client,” he said.

Her business practice also provides services to tax-exempt groups and charitable foundations. Working for those organizations, Scott said, entails the additional difficulty of having to balance a client’s internal needs with the mission of providing a public service.

“The areas of the law that I practice in are really a terrific way to have a positive impact in people’s lives that you, on many occasions, get to the see the benefits of,” she said.

Her interest in representing tax-exempt clients and charitable foundations has prompted Scott to take on leadership roles in her community. She has served as a director of the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation, as well as a member of Antonia Foundation Inc., Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens Board of Directors and Rotary Club Milwaukee.

Within the firm, she sets an example for other attorneys, Hughes said, adding that a young partner has told him how much she values Scott’s advice on both legal and personal matters.

“I don’t think there’s any limit to where she goes,” he said.

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