Brandau is Bradshaw firm’s newest partner
2002 was a banner year for Lori Brandau. She became a mother and was told she was becoming a shareholder of Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor and Fairgrave P.C.
“I’m still working on creating a balance,” she said. “I have to be much more efficient with my time at works, getting as much as I can done so I don’t have to take too much work home or stay after hours. I try to keep those two aspects separate.”
Brandau says she is honored to have been made a partner and gives credit to her family for supporting her and to the mentors who guided her.
“My parents were amazing role models and sources of support,” she said. She also says a Wartburg political science professor, Fred Waldstein, was instrumental in encouraging her to write and speak publicly.
“A judge in Black Hawk County, K.D. Briner, made a big difference in my career,” Brandau said. “When I was in college I interned with him in the public defender’s office. Then the summer after my first year of law school, I clerked with him as a judge. He showed me what a good lawyer is. He’s a brilliant man, outstanding at his job, but also an outstanding person. That’s why he’s been a role model for me. He proves that you don’t have to sacrifice being a good person to be a good lawyer.”
Brandau is from Waverly and received her bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College. She then attended the University of Iowa College of Law. When it came time for Brandau to get an internship, her then-boyfriend (now husband) was teaching in Johnston, so she focused her search in the Des Moines area. Brandau found a position at Hanson, Bjork and Russell. She liked it so much she wanted to work there after graduation, but there weren’t any openings for associates.
“The people at Hanson said if they had to work somewhere else, they would work at the Bradshaw firm,” Brandau said. “It was a very positive endorsement.”
Now Brandau primarily practices workers’ compensation insurance defense.
“I represent employers when they are sued by injured workers,” she said. “My responsibility runs the gamut from prevention, educating adjusters, to trying cases and trying cases on appeal.”
According to Brandau, she would like to serve in a more proactive role in the future, especially with self-insured employers.
“I think legal counsel isn’t something businesses should be afraid to use in a proactive manner,” she said. “We’re always called when the lawsuit papers are filed, but [legal council] can be extremely useful in a preventive manner to minimize the effects of potential lawsuits.”