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Attraction to law came early for Bradford

By: Jerry Huffman//December 1, 2016

Attraction to law came early for Bradford

By: Jerry Huffman//December 1, 2016

Mary Kay Bradford - Legal Assistant - Michael Best & Friedrich
Mary Kay Bradford – Legal Assistant – Michael Best & Friedrich

For Mary Kay Bradford, it was a simple question from her eighth-grade teacher that changed her life.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“The law,” she wrote. “Something to do with the law.”

Four years later the same teacher gave that essay back to her former student as a high-school graduation present.

“It was like a bolt of lightning,” said Bradford, now a legal assistant at Michael Best & Friedrich. “How many times do we make a decision as a child, follow through with it all the way through high school and college, and then have it actually influence our life?”

For the past 20 years, Bradford has played a central role at Michael Best & Friedrich. Colleagues praise her as a self-starter. She supports as many as seven attorneys and manages complicated schedules and deadlines, all the while making sure clients remain the priority.

“I do wear a lot of hats,” said Bradford. “At any one time I’m juggling 15 different responsibilities.”

In what might be the understatement of the year, Bradford says she knows she’s busy. Still, she keeps at it because she enjoys the work.

The Michigan native is especially grateful for the firm’s willingness to accommodate her.

“When I had my boys I initially wanted to cut back on my hours and the firm made that happen,” Bradford said. “Likewise, when I wanted to return to full-time work, they held the door open for me. And I’ve always been grateful.”

That loyalty goes both ways for Bradford. Beyond her outstanding work habits, the firm credits Bradford for her efforts involving in-house charitable giving to homeless veterans and victims of domestic abuse. She has also helped collect blankets and worked with volunteers to support local Junior Achievement programs.

Bradford’s immense contributions to both the firm and the community are why they consider her their Unsung Hero.

And that eighth-grader who made such a grown up decision? If Bradford could talk to that young girl today, she says she would tell her not to worry so much.

“Try new things, enjoy life more, and take chances,” Bradford said.


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