A competitive spirit may have pushed Michelle Hockers through Marquette’s Pre-Law Scholars program, but it’s compassion that has earned the Murphy & Prachthauser associate exceptional success since then.
The 27-year-old personal injury attorney graduated from Marquette Law School in 2015, finishing in the top 5 percent of her class. She became an intern at Murphy & Prachthauser after her first year of law school.
Don Prachthauser, senior partner at the firm, said after a two-year clerkship, Hockers’ keen intelligence, work habits and uncompromising integrity made it easy for them to offer her a position as an associate attorney.
“I think of Michelle as a bright star,” Prachthauser said. “She is truly an exceptional woman.”
Hockers said she initially wanted to be a trial attorney but discovered during her internship with the firm that she enjoyed making a difference for people who had suffered a personal injury.
In a defining moment of her practice, she was able to help the family of a 2 year old with a brain injury get a significant recovery for the child.
“No amount of money will make up for what most of these people have been through, but it helps get them the care they need, it helps with small things,” Hockers said.
Since joining the firm, Hockers has conducted about 100 depositions, written briefs filed at the Court of Appeals level and been chosen as one of 23 attorneys to take part in the State Bar of Wisconsin G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy. In 2015, her writing was published in The Verdict and she was asked to speak to the Wisconsin Association for Justice about the article.
“I have not met a young lawyer more capable than Michelle. She’s in a class by herself,” Prachthauser said.
And although trials aren’t especially common in her field of work, she’s still able to spend some time in the courtroom. Within the first three years of being out of law school, Hockers successfully co-counseled two jury trials in Milwaukee County in 2017, and now has two more on the horizon.
Looking to the future, Hockers hopes to get more trials and handle her own product-liability cases. As a member of the West Bend Community and Alumni Scholarship Foundation (Columns) Board of Directors and the Murphy & Prachthauser Give Back MKE Campaign, she stays busy and stays motivated by her community involvement.
“The most important thing is that she’s a wonderful person,” Prachthauser said. “Her compassion for clients and their problems is genuine.”