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Attorney Laurie Bigsby 2017 Women In The Law Recipient

Bigsby making a difference by fighting for the ‘little person’

2017 Women In The Law Recipient

The burden of student-loan debt continues
to loom over thousands of students in
Wisconsin. Yet, few attorneys are taking steps
to deal with the situation.

Enter Laurie Bigsby, who has practiced
in this new area of law for almost three years
at Horizons Law Group in Brookfield.
Born and raised in Fond du Lac, she
attended Indiana University and Valparaiso
University School of Law, where she graduated
in 1988. While practicing in Indiana, she
served as an officer in the Indiana State Bar
Association Family and Juvenile Law Section.
Bigsby helped to develop statewide visitation
guidelines for use in family law situations, divorces
and paternity cases.

When she returned to Wisconsin in
2001, her specialty became helping families
with financial matters. She handled Ch. 7 and
Ch. 13 bankruptcy cases and probate cases
with Horizons. In 2015, she began work in the
firm’s student-loan defense practice area.
Bigsby has studied government programs
and knows how to get through red
tape. Her more than 25 years’ worth of experience
in the court system has enabled her to
understand and follow legal procedures used
in both federal and state courts.
“I enjoy practicing law today because it
allows me to help individuals with their financial
matters,” she said. “And occasionally I get
to fight in court on the application of law to
my client’s situation and convince the judge
that my position is the correct application of

Michelle Fitzgerald, founder of Horizons
Law and an adjunct professor at Marquette
University Law School, said it was Bigsby’s
passion for helping consumers to find a way
out of difficult situations that led her to discover
a sort of theme in the bankruptcy work
she had been doing for years. She is drawn to
working on student loan entanglements that
affect both students and the parents who cosign
loan documents.

“Our general bankruptcy procedure
does not offer a direct way to address these
issues,” Fitzgerald said. “But with Laurie’s zest
for knowledge, she researched the few cases
and motions in the federal circuit courts and
state courts where arguments were being
made. That led her to approach me with this
area of practice that goes hand-in-hand with
the bankruptcy clients she serves.”

Among the changes for the better that
Bigsby has seen over the years, she counts
courts’ increasing recognition of various valid
legal defenses. That, she says, at least gives
clients a chance at arriving at amicable resolutions.
“I continue to be impressed with her
thirst for knowledge and addressing challenges,”
Fitzgerald said. “She truly enjoys fighting
for the ‘little person’ and protecting their
rights to due process.”
-Emily Bultman

About the Author

Horizons Law Group Admin
Horizons Law Group Admin