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November/December 2022 Issue

Also in this issue: Remembering our Colleague - Mike May     |     Making a Difference     |     Remembering Mike May     |     Ikigai     |     A Municipal Law Tour de Force

Mike’s Gal

I first met Mike in 1988 in an interview at the law school. I was about to graduate and was looking for my first position as a lawyer, and Mike was scouting for talent for Boardman, Suhr, Curry and Field, a law firm I’d never heard of. Mike was different from the other lawyers I interviewed with. For one thing, he wore cowboy boots and not wing tips. He was open and straightforward and easy to talk to. And, at the end of the interview, he advised me to revamp my resume and remove all my academic writings off the resume (apparently, law firms couldn’t care less about scholarly papers on language acquisition). Little did I know then that Mike would become one of my most important mentors at Boardman.

It was Mike who introduced me to the MEUW, the association of municipal electric utilities, and to the utility managers that would become clients. I will always remember the very first MEUW board meeting Mike took me to. In those days, the board met regularly in Wisconsin Rapids at the Mead Inn. At the start of the meeting, the board president introduced me (the only woman in the room) as Mike’s gal.” I cringed a bit at that introduction and wondered how I would ever win the respect of all those managers. Some 30 years later, I can say that I eventually did in no small part due to Mike’s mentorship.

What I learned from Mike was invaluable. Yes, he was smart and worked hard. But more than that, he truly loved what he did and he cared very much about the people and municipal institutions that he worked for. Addressing legal issues was no longer just an academic exercise. Rather, Mike showed me that it was important to understand your clients and the work they were charged with so that your legal advice was practical and helpful rather than sterile and impenetrable. Your job was not just to find an answer to a hypothetical legal question. It was to apply your legal knowledge and experience to find a meaningful and helpful solution to real problems.

I am very fortunate to be an attorney that actually enjoys what she does and am so very grateful and proud to work on behalf of municipalities and their utilities. It all started one day in 1998 in a law school interview room with Mike. I’m sad he’s no longer around to continue to lead me and the newer attorneys at the firm by his example.

This newsletter is published and distributed for informational pur- poses only. It does not offer legal advice with respect to particular situations, and does not purport to be a complete treatment of the legal issues surrounding any topic. Because your situation may differ from those described in this Newsletter, you should not rely solely on this information in making legal decisions.

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