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2015 Women in the Law

For Scott, good lawyering starts with listening

Denasha Scott never assumes she knows what a client wants. In large part because of her willingness to listen, Scott, who specializes in estate-planning and business law, has risen to team leader of Stafford Rosenbaum LLP’s Business Law Practice Group and is now a member of the firm’s board of directors.

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For Watson, listening to clients is key

After working for the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s office for more than 20 years, DeeDee Watson hears the same two questions time and time again: How is she able to defend her indigent criminal clients, and how can she do it for so long?

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For Ustad Smith, ‘winning’ begins with understanding clients

Ann Ustad Smith’s secret weapon is her friendly demeanor. Ustad Smith, chair of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP’s banking and financial services industry group, specializes in helping distressed businesses and meeting clients’ needs regarding bankruptcy, commercial transactions and constitutional litigation.

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Relationships, public service define Bonniwell

Nancy Bonniwell is dedicated to serving her clients, colleagues and community. A main factor in her success as partner at Weiss Berzowski Brady LLP, where she practices estate planning and business law, is her ability to build relationships with clients and understand their motivations.

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Heidt the cream of the crop

Martha Heidt stumbled upon a book — and a new career. As a struggling dairy farmer in the late 1980s near Eau Claire, she came across a book on agricultural law while cleaning a barn basement.

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Weston teaches law, even while running tech company

Cheryl Weston wants to help her students to think as deeply about the law as she does. That means they should be able to recognize the intersection of substance and procedure, to understand rules and use them tactically. “If they learn the tools of being a good litigator, they always can pick up the substance of law,” she said. Weston, ...

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McMahon fights for her clients by getting personal

Maura McMahon wants to know every client’s story. Throughout the past 12 years in the State Public Defender’s Waukesha office, she has advocated for women, children and the mentally ill, but the often-troubling details of those cases have done little to dim her bright outlook.

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