Attorney Spotlight: Greg Westerhaus

In what area of law do you practice and why did you choose this?

Estate Planning. Two reasons. One, I enjoy speaking with and helping people under (usually) happy circumstances. Two, I want to help them legally protect their assets from the prying eyes of the tax man.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A pro athlete, of course. But after I gracefully retired from football in college my dream job was to own my own pub. Now I’ll just have to build one in my basement.

When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer?

After my fifth year of teaching, I decided I would teach one more year and then go to law school.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a lawyer?

I would likely be a high school administrator. As noted above, before going to law school I was a high school teacher, so this wouldn’t be out of left field.

Tell us about a mentor who made an impact on your career.

When I was a teacher in Chicago (have I mentioned this yet?) the athletic director Leroy consistently encouraged me as a teacher and coach, and then even more so as I went to law school. That encouragement has helped shape my development as a professional.

What do you like best about practicing law at H&J?

The collaborative nature of the office.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Do good work and everything else will follow.

What is an item on your bucket list?

To do a whisky distillery tour in Scotland.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Grand View on Gull Lake.

What is your favorite Minnesota Lake?

Gull Lake.

What is your favorite Twin Cities restaurant?

Caffe Biaggio, in St. Paul. I highly suggest it.

When you are not working, what would people find you doing?

Hiking outside, cooking at home, or researching the finest craft beers.

What is your favorite part of practicing law?

Helping others achieve their goals as much as possible.

Who is your hero?

My dad, no doubt.

What is a recent good book you read?

The Count of Monte Cristo.

What advice would you give to the young version of yourself who is just entering law school?

Read non-legal books for fun!

What might people be surprised to know about you?

I can play the banjo. I’m no Earl Scruggs or Steve Martin, but perhaps one day I’ll get there.

What is your strongest asset?

Although I am naturally reserved, I am also very much a people person.

If you have an out-of-town visitor, what are the “must see/do” things in the Twin Cities?

The lakes, James J. Hill House/Cathedral Hill, and Minneapolis Institute of Art.