Juscha Robinson believes she makes a difference by providing her clients with peace of mind about the future.
“While I was in law school, I was looking for a way to help others and saw estate-planning and real-estate issues as a way I could make a difference in that client’s life,” said Robinson, an lawyer at Pines Bach who deals with everything from estate-planning, probate and real-estate cases to business law and civil litigation. “Since I handle both real estate and estate planning, I feel that is a help to clients since the areas often intersect.”
Although Robinson certainly enjoys her legal career, she acknowledges it was not until after she had worked as a short-term staff member for a member of the British Parliament that she came to see the difference that the law could make in people’s lives.
“I was helping families from Kosovo get resettled and saw what role the legal system played in that. I really enjoyed making a difference and helping them,” Robinson said. “I realized getting a law degree would be one way that I could continue to make a difference.”
Clients can sometimes be a bit hesitant with estate planning since it deals with a topic – death – that most people do not like to talk about. Robinson, though, said it’s something everyone should do for the good of their families.
“There is a lot of misinformation about estate planning. Some people think if they have a will, their family will not have to go through probate, but that’s not true,” she said. “Everyone needs estate planning and everyone has an estate that needs to be taken care of.”
People will often feel guilty that they have not done any estate planning.
Robinson said that “nine out of 10 first-time meetings start off with clients saying, ‘We’ve been meaning to do this for years.’ I reassure them that the important thing is that they are here now. Estate planning is easily put off.”
Once clients finish with estate planning, Robinson suggests they check back every five years or anytime there has been a big change in their lives, just to make sure everything is up-to-date.
“I really want my clients to come away educated about the entire process and prepared for the future,” she said.
Wisconsin Law Journal: What makes your work important to you?
Juscha Robinson: I love my role as a problem-solver and counselor. People don’t fully appreciate that attorneys are helpers – helping prepare for and navigate after the death of a loved one, a home purchase or a business decision. I enjoy working with clients at important junctures in their lives, and value the trust and ongoing relationships that can create.
WLJ: Who is your hero in the legal field?
Robinson: Easy question. Justice Shirley Abrahamson. She is unwaveringly considerate and gracious in her public life and exacting and perceptive in her legal work. She has been a standard bearer for women in the legal field, and we all stand on her shoulders. Her longevity is breathtaking. I think about how much it takes to have a full-time law career, a family and keep a balance, and I think how much more difficult that must have been as one of the first women in the field.
WLJ: What do you do outside of work to deal with stress from the office?
Robinson: Lots! I enjoy being active and being outdoors year-round. My family and I make special efforts to get outside during these dark months. I have a meditation practice and have meditative hobbies, like running, knitting and yoga, that mostly help keep my mind from inventing problems that haven’t happened yet.
WLJ: What’s one thing many people get wrong about what you do?
Robinson: Sometimes people think the lawyer makes things overly complicated just to run up the bill or bog down a transaction. I have a lot of other work to do, so I try hard not to “make work.” I am focused on representing my client’s best interest, which usually involves problem-solving and anticipating issues before they become big.
WLJ: What’s your favorite memory from law school?
Robinson: I was taking civil procedure during the fall 2000 election, and our professor was a frequent news legal commentator during Bush v. Gore. He essentially ditched the regular curriculum after early November and we spent the rest of the semester immersed in the election fall-out. It was incredible perspective on the historical event and gave me a deeper appreciation for how the law affects our lives.
WLJ: Is there a certain case that stands out to you?
Robinson: Bush v. Gore, for the reasons I mentioned earlier. On a lighter note and more recently, my second grade daughter and I have been reading the first Nancy Drew mystery, “The Mystery of the Old Clock.” It’s about a lost will and will contest, and Nancy’s lawyer father plays a central role. It’s fun to try to explain what a will is to my child and why all the fuss. She was interested to learn that she will get all my stuff someday, but agreed that she prefers to have me in the meantime.