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Home / 2017 Women in the Law / Orelup powers diversity, women’s initiatives

Orelup powers diversity, women’s initiatives

Elizabeth Orelup | Quarles & Brady (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Elizabeth Orelup | Quarles & Brady (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Elizabeth Orelup is known by her colleagues at Quarles & Brady as an “influential and deeply respected” leader who has helped the firm shape its diversity and women’s initiatives.

But in speaking of her success at the Milwaukee law firm, Orelup is quick to mention the women who came before her.

One of the reasons Orelup chose to join Quarles & Brady is because it already had an established cohort of women associates. Among them was Alyce Katayama, who was recognized as a 2016 Woman in the Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal.

“The fact that Quarles & Brady had a strong group of women lawyers at a time when law firms were just beginning to take strides toward diversity was a key factor in my decision to join the firm,” said Orelup. She added that the group supported her in many ways: As colleagues, as mentors and as friends.

Katherine Maloney Perhach, Milwaukee office managing partner at Quarles & Brady, noted that Orelup has practiced corporate law for 37 years, representing lenders, borrowers, buyers, sellers and others in matters of commercial lending and leasing transactions, other sorts of commercial dealings, and distressed credit and bankruptcy cases.

Orelup also serves as the national chair of the firm’s business-law group. The role has her leading and supporting the nearly 100 business lawyers who work at the firm. Orelup’s responsibilities also include recruiting and retention of talent, business development and planning.

“My most important responsibility, however, is supporting and advocating for my partners in their practices and client-service efforts,” she said.

Perhach said that Orelup works with other female attorneys and is involved in community groups that promote women’s issues and diversity.

She is the former director and a current Steering Committee member of Milwaukee Women Inc., a regional organization that calls for increasing the numbers of women who have leadership roles at the executive- and board-levels of public companies.

Orelup has also served for 10 years on the board of the Women’s Fund of Milwaukee.

“I have always been attracted to community service opportunities that introduce me to women leaders outside the legal industry,” Orelup said of her involvement in those groups. “Extraordinary women are involved in these organizations and I have very much appreciated the opportunity to get to know them and work with them for the betterment of our community.”

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