Monday Profile: Amanda Murray

 By Jo Mathis

Legal News
Amanda Murray is an associate at Bassett & Associates, P.L.L.C., an Ann Arbor firm that focuses on probate matters, estate planning, adoption, and LGBT law. She earned an undergraduate degree from Eastern Michigan University and graduated in 2012 with her Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Before joining Bassett & Associates, Amanda completed judicial externships for Judges J. Cedric Simpson and Avern Cohn.
Murray was born and raised in Belleville. She has lived in New York City and San Francisco but returned to Michigan to be with family. She lives in Ypsilanti with her husband and daughter.
By Jo Mathis
Legal News
 
What is your motto?
Do whatever makes you happy as long as it does not impede on someone else’s happiness.
 
What do you wish someone would invent?
I wish someone could invent more time within a day. I would definitely use it wisely.
 
Currently reading … 
A myriad of short stories – particularly short stories for children under 5 (i.e., children’s books). I would love to actually read a novel, but having a toddler and being an attorney doesn’t offer much “me” time.
 
What is your most treasured material possession?
I have a pair of Wonder Woman shoes that were mine when I was one. My father used to hang them around the rearview mirror of his truck. It is a nice reminder of where I came from and how much I’ve grown—both physically and mentally.
 
What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Make the choice to move forward based upon your passion for something. Don’t do it for the title or because you think it has prestige. Those things aren’t the ingredients of an attorney who is destined to make a difference. Passion will fuel your advocacy and get you through the stressful times of practicing.
 
Favorite local hangouts:
My backyard, especially this time of year. BBQ’s and bonfires with friends and family are definitely summer staples for me. There is no place I’d rather be than in my backyard with my family and friends and all of our children running around and playing together.
 
Favorite websites:
Craigslist and CNN are two frequented sites. I also love Pinterest, although nothing I do turns out the way the website displays it. I do use Facebook quite a bit to keep in touch with my family and friends.
 
What is your happiest childhood memory?
I think growing up in a neighborhood is my happiest memory from childhood in general. I grew up riding bikes and four-wheelers, playing sports, swimming, etc. My neighborhood had so many kids and we all just played outside together all of the time—no cell phones, no video games.
 
Which things do you not like to do?
I don’t like to say no, although I am starting to practice it. I do not like to go camping; I cannot stand being dirty before bed and sharing my surroundings with creatures that have more legs than my dogs!
What would surprise people about your job?
I think that many would be surprised by the amount of non-legal problems that we solve at our office. While clients come to me for legal advice, there is often a completely different non-legal issue that needs to be addressed and dealt with. Solving these types of issues often help with the legal issue at hand.
 
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?
Ghandi – I would love to gain even a minimal amount of his perspective.
 
What’s the most awe-inspiring place you have visited?
Rome. It’s indescribable, and pictures do not do it justice. There is so much history and architecture there. The culture is delightful; it is a must-see.
 
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Mind-reading, although, it would have to come with a shut-off option.
 
What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
“Enjoy this time while you can because you will have to live in the real world someday!”
 
What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
It’s a tie. The day I got sworn in is hard to beat. However, the first thank-you letter I received from a client made me pretty proud that I was able to help someone.
 
What’s your worst moment as a lawyer?
Losing my temper. It is really challenging to stay calm, especially when an adverse side is being extremely unreasonable.
 
Favorite joke:
It’s so cold outside that I see a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets! (I heard this one more than once this past winter.)
 
What is guaranteed to make you laugh?
My daughter’s laughter. The kind of laugh that is uncontrollable and she just can’t stop. It makes me crack up every time. And, any Weekend Update with Jimmy Fallon on SNL.
 
Must-see TV:
Now: “House of Cards” and “True Blood.” Then: “Friends” and “Sex and the City.”
 
What word do you overuse?
“Absolutely.”
 
What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?
Speak Spanish. My husband is Latino and is fluent in Spanish. I want our daughter to be fluent, too, so it would be nice if I was able to participate in that process.
 
What is something most people don't know about you?
I am extremely competitive – with everything. I can’t shut it off! 
 
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
1) My father. I would love to catch up with him on all the things life has brought me in the past few years since he passed away.
2) Abraham Lincoln. I would definitely pick his brain; he is such a monumental part of the United States.
3) Ghandi. Again, it would be nice to gain his perspective.
 
What was the greatest compliment someone ever paid you?
“I do.”
 
What has been your favorite year so far?
2012 – without a doubt. I graduated law school and had my daughter (in that order). These are the two most rewarding things that I have done in my life. And, because of them, I keep reaping rewards.

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