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Improving Milwaukee motivates Bynum

By: JESSICA STEPHEN//September 30, 2015//

Improving Milwaukee motivates Bynum

By: JESSICA STEPHEN//September 30, 2015//

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Although Marvin Bynum II may miss the mountains of Portland , Ore., where he spent much of his childhood, he’s determined to use his practice in real-estate law to improve Milwaukee, which has been his home since 2001.

“I firmly believe that wherever I am, I should work to improve my community, work to better my community, and to just be a part – I don’t really care how small of a role I get to play,” he said.

But it’s also something he pursues outside of work. Bynum spends much of whatever free time he has volunteering at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center.

“If there’s something you don’t like… in the world around you,” he said, “you can’t complain about it until you do something about it. I firmly believe that.”

Bynum initially thought that he wanted to be an environmental attorney, but started to change his mind when he was applying for admission to law school. He and his wife were living in Lansing, Mich., at the time, and a GM plant there closed down. The elementary school he volunteered at stood behind their house and was directly affected by the plant’s closing.

“I knew that was going to affect the neighborhood, the school, the kids that I worked with,” he said. “And I started to think about: What could have a more tangible impact on my environment and my community?”

The answer came to him after he got into Marquette University Law School and, through his summer clerkship and subsequent employment at Godfrey & Kahn SC, started getting exposed to different types of practice, such as tax law and corporate law.

“Over time… I naturally gravitated toward real estate,” Bynum said. “I liked the tangible aspect of it. I like to be able to drive around the city and say, ‘Yeah, I helped put the loan together for this project.’ or ‘Yeah, I worked with the developer who helped develop this office building.’”


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