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Wyant sees benefits to waiting for law school

By: Rick Benedict//September 30, 2015//

Wyant sees benefits to waiting for law school

By: Rick Benedict//September 30, 2015//

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A little life experience gave Leah R. Wyant (Harrand) a lot of perspective before starting law school.

“I was 20 when I graduated from undergrad. I didn’t have the direction to go to law school at that point,” Wyant said. “By the time I went back, being a little bit older, I was very focused, knew more what I wanted to do with my life.”

So, after working as a delivery manager for a propane company and, later, doing transportation-related work for Georgia Pacific, Wyant went to law school.

Today she is an associate at Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren in Milwaukee, where she specializes in real estate law, a practice she embraced after working one summer at the firm.

“I fell in love,” she said.

Wyant insists it was the people in her department who made her love the practice. But, she admitted, it helps that she truly enjoys leases, development deals and financing. Even zoning and land use, she said, have their appeal.

It also helps that she’s just plain good at her job.

“She has a genuine enjoyment in getting to know and working closely with clients. She has shown a unique ability to gain confidence and trust from clients, beyond what one would expect with her relatively limited years of experience. And she brings a thorough and thoughtful approach to problem solving,” said Bruce Block, a shareholder and real estate practice co-chairman at Reinhart.

Just three years into her career, Wyant said, she still has a lot to learn about balancing her passion for work with her desire for a personal life.

Fortunately, her husband, Peter Wyant, is also a lawyer and understands. And her blind Brittany spaniel is also fairly forgiving.

“You have to work at it. It’s not something that comes naturally. It’s not like you can say, ‘It’s 6:30, I’m going home,’ or ‘I’m not working this weekend,’” said Wyant, who also volunteers as a board member at Meta House, a foundation for women dealing with addiction.

But, she said, it’s a struggle she’s happy to have, even if she sometimes wishes she’d had it a bit sooner.

“I have a friend coming up for shareholder who says, ‘If you had only gone straight through.’”

Wyant doesn’t give it a second thought.

“All that time off made me a better attorney,” she said.


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