Wisconsin Law Journal: Women in the Law 2009

Trial attorney lives her belief in the 'power of one'

G.M. Filisko
February 16, 2009
To understand Christine Bremer Muggli, you have to know her family history.
“I grew up as a Chicago Democrat,” explains the shareholder at Bremer & Trollop S.C., a plaintiffs’ firm with five offices in Northern Wisconsin. “My grandfather was a city alderman and chair of the Chicago Transit Authority. I was raised by a mother who watched her father bring food to people in the neighborhood and really believed Franklin Roosevelt saved our country.”
That upbringing bred into her a philosophy that drives her to this day.
“Our family was dedicated to a system of government that helped make things work and was a way to help solve people’s problems,” she says. “I’ve always approached things with that angle: What can I do to make this better, to solve problems, to move the ball forward? I’m a true believer in the power of one and that there’s a possibility for one individual to change things.”
It’s that devotion to making a difference that propelled Muggli to create the Women’s Caucus during her 2008 presidency of the Wisconsin Association for Justice. Her goal was to mentor and provide leadership opportunities within the plaintiffs’ bar for female lawyers and law students. Through her efforts, the caucus increased the number of female WAJ members and secured a grant to help educate female law students about the option of becoming a trial attorney.
“We’re working to make sure people recognize the unique challenges of work-life issues for women,” she explains. “People need to be given an opportunity to be rewarded for their work and not necessarily the hours they put in the office. Women have been overlooked, and they shouldn’t have been. There are women trial lawyers, and they can be the future of the trial bar.”
In her spare time in 2008, Muggli volunteered on behalf of President Obama during the presidential campaign, becoming both a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Denver and an elector in the Electoral College.
“My office was open for phonathons just about every night,” she says. “My grandfather was an elector for Roosevelt, and I wanted to be the one who helped debate on behalf of Obama for Wisconsin’s Seventh Congressional District.”
She plans to continue to advocate that female attorneys stand up and be heard.
“Women should recognize that they need to speak out and get involved,” she says. “Even though we’re very busy, we have an awful lot to contribute, and we shouldn’t be afraid to do that. If you’re at a law firm that’s not recognizing you, you should look around and see your options. I opened my own firm when I was 50. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you, too.”
— G.M. Filisko
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