Playing college basketball for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay taught Amy Bruchs how to perform well under pressure.
It’s something that has since come in handy in her role as the managing partner of Michael Best & Friedrich’s Madison office.
“College basketball is tough and it really helps you to step up and accept challenges,” Bruchs said. “That helped me a lot with my legal career.”
She has definitely not been one to step away from trying situations. Bruchs primarily specializes in employment and labor law, handling state and federal cases. Of her nine appellate cases in federal court, Bruchs has won eight of them.
“I help employers develop best practices and take appropriate steps so they can avoid litigation,” she said. “It is definitely an interesting practice.”
David Krutz, Michael Best’s managing partner, said Bruchs stays focused and works to get the best results for her clients.
“In court, Amy is never intimidated — a quality she developed through the mentoring of outstanding women role models and honed during her college career as a starting Division I athlete,” he said. “She has an even-keel approach and is able to easily diffuse stressful situations.”
As a managing partner of the firm’s Madison office for the last 13 months, Bruchs is in charge of the office’s marketing and branding campaigns and leads its recruitment efforts.
“We want to be the market leader,” she said, “and this role has a very external role.”
Mentors have played a big role in Bruchs’ life. Among the most influential have been her mother, a successful businesswoman, and Ann Ustad Smith, a partner in Michael Best’s Madison office. In turn, Bruchs aims to be a mentor to other women and a go-to advisor to all office associates — both men and women.
Bruchs made her mark at Michael Best carving out a successful practice and becoming a partner in seven years, even while caring for her four children.
“Amy systemized a fluid work-life balance that was manageable for her family,” Krutz said. “Finding this balance was no easy feat.”
Bruchs has used her experiences to encourage law firms to devote their energies toward helping women with their long-term career development rather than maternity leave and other short-term matters related to having children.
“I’m proud that 42 percent of the partners in our Madison office are women, compared to the industry average of 33 percent,” she said.