Shannon Braun is really, really busy.
By the time you read this story, she will have recently had her first baby while managing her full-time legal practice at Godfrey & Kahn and keeping up with an impressive amount of outside community work.
“It’s because I like people,” Braun said.
It’s a revealing statement for someone who entered UW-Madison as a physics major before switching to law. But it was at the UW-Madison where Braun realized she was more passionate about making a difference in the lives of her clients than working in a laboratory.
Braun’s outside commitments to community causes are impressive. She’s a member of the board of directors for a Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin affiliate that is helping to pay for breast cancer research. This past year alone, the local group has awarded more than $1 million to 10 community programs. The UW Law School grad is also the president-elect of the Association for Women Lawyers.
A member of the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Young Leader’s Advisory Board, Braun has been a “Big” to a “Little” through Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2010 and provides pro-bono services to first responders through the Wills for Heroes program.
“Working with the Heroes program gives me a chance to use my legal skills for the good of the community,” said Braun, “and volunteering with BBBS has provided me with a truly unique relationship.”
As a member of the firm’s Estate Planning Practice Group, Braun helps her clients meet their financial and personal goals. Her clients run the gamut from closely held businesses to philanthropists to high-net-worth individuals.
“At times, the decisions they must make can be emotional,” Braun said, “and there is a real sense of purpose in helping them make the best choice given their circumstances.”
Braun and her husband, Nathan, chief technology officer at Scanalytics, recently had their first child. In addition to the myriad changes an infant will bring to their lives, Braun says having a child will help her better understand her clients’ relationships with their own families.
“I feel fortunate to be in the position to give back to the community,” said the Neenah native. “Through mentorship we help people, and when we do it right we also build a better community.”