Michelle Wagner Ebben keeps a pair of boots handy just in case she has to tromp around a construction site.
It’s a must for a lawyer specializing in real estate and construction.
Ebben says that although she has not had to use the boots often, there’s always a chance she might need them.
“I’ve been the one person on the construction site that’s a woman,” she said.
But Ebben says she is optimistic that won’t be the case for long, given that more women are going both into construction and law than 20 to 30 years ago.
It’s an optimistic attitude that Ebben has taken on in part from her work volunteering at Momentum Milwaukee, a group that helps women build networks and find guidance as they advance through the first half of their careers.
“The industry is becoming more of a level playing field,” she said. “Being on the cusp of that change is very exciting.”
Ebben says she doesn’t let any frustrations she might have with the state of the profession overshadow the satisfaction she gets from working on difficult land transactions and construction cases.
One example of why she enjoys her job is the work she and her firm, Michael Best & Friedrich, have done on the Bucks arena. The firm represented the Wisconsin Center District.
“It’s great to see all the players all work together to bring about a project that will hopefully be a lasting hallmark for the city and help revitalize the area,” Ebben said.
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