Rico Heisler takes a new roleRico Heisler says that people might as well know up front that a visit to his law office won’t be like going to see an attorney at an established Hudson firm. For starters, there’s a chance that they’ll meet his wife, Kari, and their sons Silas, 5, and Gideon, 3.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
Rico Heisler says that people might as well know up front that a visit to his law office won’t be like going to see an attorney at an established Hudson firm.
For starters, there’s a chance that they’ll meet his wife, Kari, and their sons Silas, 5, and Gideon, 3.
That’s because his office is in the Heisler’s historic home at 1404 Second St. It’s the Greek Revival-style house with white clapboard siding and black shutters at the corner of Second and Division.
The Heislers purchased it a couple of years ago with the idea of him eventually starting his practice there. The Heisler Law Firm sign in the front lawn is seen by hundreds of motorists who pass by on their daily commute through Hudson and North Hudson.
Heisler isn’t your typical attorney in a number of ways.
In addition to the home office, the 33-year-old’s career to date has been in musical theater.
Heisler graduated from William Mitchell College of Law in the spring of 2010 and was planning to take the bar exam that fall when he landed the lead role in “All Shook Up” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre.
The popular show (in which he played an Elvis Presley-like roustabout) had a six-month run, and he delayed taking the Wisconsin exam until last February. He did well enough on the exam that he was admitted to the Minnesota bar, too, without taking its test.
The Heislers moved to Hudson in August 2004 after Kari accepted a position as a Hudson High School choir director.
Since the boys arrived, Rico has stayed home with them when Kari is at school. He took evening classes at William Mitchell when he wasn’t performing in a show.
Heisler has a long resume of roles, including parts in “West Side Story” and “Anything Goes” at the Chanhassen, “The Merry Widow” with the Minnesota Opera, and “A Chorus Line” at the Bloomington Civic Center.
He also drives a Hudson school bus to supplement the family income. He volunteers as the choreographer and dance instructor for Hudson High School musicals. And he is a committed Christian.
His bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College in St. Paul is in biblical studies.
Heisler said he struggled some about whether to present himself as a Christian attorney and ultimately decided that he had to.
“My job as a lawyer has to be connected to my faith and who I am as a person. Otherwise, I’m not going to have any satisfaction in it,” he said during an interview in his office last Friday.
“I’m seeking out how to do that,” he added, “but I’m not keeping it (a secret). People who come to me are going to know that I am a Christian lawyer.”
A Christian lawyer who specializes in personal bankruptcy cases, Heisler said a few people have questioned how he can make bankruptcy his focus as a Christian.
“I think there is a biblical principle of debt forgiveness,” is his answer. He noted that the people of Israel in the Old Testament followed the practice of forgiving others’ debts every seven years.
Most people who get into debt over their heads are hard-working individuals, Heisler said. In many cases, it happens through no fault of their own. Someone in the family loses their job or becomes ill and accumulates a mountain of medical bills.
“They’re not people just going out racking up debt for debt’s sake. They are people who never would be able to get out from underneath that rock if it wasn’t for bankruptcy,” he said.
Another factor in the choice is that his father, Lance Heisler of Northfield, Minn., has done a lot of bankruptcy work in his 35-year career as an attorney.
Rico can give his father a call for advice whenever he needs it.
“I’m a new attorney. I don’t have all the answers. But I guarantee I can get the answers for you,” Heisler said.
He comes from a family of lawyers. He has an uncle who is an attorney, too, and his younger brother, Micah, also graduated from law school last year.
The judges he clerked for as an intern in Dunn County also have offered to advise him if he needs help.
Heisler promises to give his clients “very personalized attention.”
“It’s going to be me and you,” he said, “because if I don’t do a good job for who is sitting in front of me, then I’m not going to get any more business. Each client is my practice.”
Heisler plans to see clients mostly in the evenings because of his other duties.
He also writes general wills for clients and expects to be doing some public defender work.
To schedule an appointment with Heisler, call (715) 245-0364 or send an e-mail message to email@example.com. More information on his practice is available online at www.heislerlawfirm.com.