Weld Riley reeled in the top spot in several law-related categories in this year’s Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll, and it is no surprise why. Placing in 7 categories — ranking #1 for Best Business Law, Best Family Law, Best Wills, Trusts & Estates Law and Best Real Estate Law — there are clearly several reasons why locals choose Weld Riley.
With four offices (Eau Claire, Menomonie, Black River Falls, Wausau) Weld Riley brings their A-game every time, no matter what. Family Law Attorney Jennifer Brown and Estate Planning Attorney Maggie McLoone work out of the Eau Claire location and said creating and caring for client relationships is vital to their work.
Weld Riley President and Attorney, John Behling, said Jennifer and Maggie are excellent additions to the firm for their dedication to their clients, and to the Weld team. “Maggie and Jennifer are superstars in their practice areas and are well respected in our industry. Both of their hires are part of Weld Riley’s commitment to strategic growth while maintaining our stance of only hiring the best and brightest.”
Jennifer has been a licensed attorney since 2007 but joined the Weld Riley team in 2021 to expand the Family Law team, and fostering relationships has clearly been a success, as proven by the firm’s Best Of award for Family Law. While folks may first think of marriage and divorce as the majority of Family Law cases, there is far more that can and does fall under the category.
“Family Law is so broad,” Jennifer said. “While I do work as a divorce attorney, there are so many other aspects, from adoption to paternity actions to prenuptial agreements. It really runs the whole gamut.”
Taking on many consults each month, specific cases can go on for months if not longer as the process goes through waiting periods, and it is absolutely vital to trust the attorney at your side. Jennifer’s clients point to her near-constant, transparent communication as a key factor in their trust in her.
“I pride myself on getting back to people promptly via phone calls, emails, or text messages, even if I can’t meet with them right away or I’m in the middle of a trial,” Jennifer explained. “My clients appreciate that type of communication, and on the flip side, I make sure they are heard. My job is to advise people of what their rights are and offer my legal advice, so making sure they know they’re listened to is important.”
While Maggie’s work in Estate Planning does not require her to be in the courtroom like Jennifer’s may, communication and trust are vital.
“Estate Planning can come into play whether you’re just interested in setting up your assets in a way to pass onto your spouse or children smoothly or need to update information, to things like naming a guardian or asking questions about what you personally should set up,” Maggie explained. “In the beginning of each new relationship with a client, we’re really figuring out what phase of life they’re in and what they are looking for out of Estate Planning, and that requires a level of comfort and trust.”
Family Law and Estate Planning cross paths naturally, as one’s home life includes both the people in your life and the home you’ve created in that time. “We encourage people to look into Estate Planning for things like a change in marital status, guardianship, real estate, or to prepare their assets,” Jennifer said. “We’re here to set clients up the best we can,” Maggie added.
Word-of-mouth and personal recommendations are very common for new clients of Weld Riley, especially here in the Chippewa Valley, and the genuine environment of the firm is also what brought Maggie and Jennifer to the team.
While Maggie was in law school at Marquette University, she was clerking at Weld Riley, a firm she knew of since she grew up just over in Stanley. After jumping on the opportunity to stick with a firm she trusted and enjoyed, her background in accounting set her up for success in Estate Planning.
Jennifer has been practicing for over a decade and, upon having several conversations and in-person meetings with the Weld Riley team, knew she wanted to be the person the firm brought onto their Family Law team.
“I truly have never had better colleagues,” Jennifer said. “I’ve spent several years at other companies or firms, but here is where I feel the people are supportive at every single turn, whether it’s between colleagues or with the clients.”