The first time Amy Busse was an attorney in Redwood Falls must have gone well. When she was given the opportunity to come back, she grabbed it.
Busse, the Redwood Falls City Attorney since Oct. 21, was introduced to the town when she came here in 2008 to spend two years in the Redwood County Attorney’s Office.
Busse, a native of Faribault, got her first experience with law during a ninth grade National Honor Society Project, working at a womens shelter.
“I would accompany women to court to get orders of protection. It was heart wrenching as some of those situations were, I fell in love with the process the first time I went into a courtroom,” she said.
Although she originally hoped to be a professional gymnast until a injury stopped her, Busse didn’t have any trouble deciding on a career in law instead.
(Choice #3 was “fighter pilot” she acknowledges.)
“When I was growing up, my parents always thought I’d be an attorney,” said Busse, a native of Faribault. “I always had to negotiation everything with them.”
After graduating from the William Mitchell College of Law, Busse was invited to Redwood Falls by then-county attorney Patrick Rohland.
Busse’s first assignments played on her strengths — child support issues, women and children in need of protections.
“I spent a lot of time over at Human Services,” she said.
Eventually she had a hand in prosecuting all the misdemeanors in Redwood County.
Busse also got a bit of experience in city law — when city attorney Steve Collins was deployed for a year of military service, Busse handled all the city’s misdemeanors also.
In 2010, seeing another opportunity for advancement, Busse moved to Wright County to devote her time mostly to child protection issues.
“I had known I wanted to do public service. I thought about being a prosecutor, but that’s difficult (to find) in the Twin Cities.”
After awhile working in a larger system, Busse found herself missing Redwood Falls.
“In Redwood, everybody helps everyone out. The attorneys are able to walk out of a courtroom and still be friends. I didn’t have that same sense of community in Wright County.
“When I heard Patrick Rohland had been appointed a judge, I thought that was wonderful news, and decided to apply for his previous position,” said Busse.
As city attorney, Busse admits that she will have to step out of her comfort zone.
“I have to handle all the city’s legal affairs. A lot of this is new to me, and Patrick left large shoes to fill,” she said.
Page 2 of 2 - “A city attorney has to be a jack of all trades. I went from knowing almost everything about child protection to knowing almost nothing about some things.
“The biggest change is working with the hospital — it’s city-owned with a CEO. It’s a whole new area of law to learn. I’m learning all sorts of new acronyms,” she laughed.
“I’ve got some great, great teachers, though, at the city.”
Then, after the Gazette interview, Busse spent the rest of the day filing a workman comp claim, meeting with the police chief about a property of concern to the city, drafting complaints for criminal files, and taking care of a vehicle being forfeited because of a DWI.
“I like small-town life quite a lot,” she said. “A small town community is really a team effort. I’m really looking forward to it.
“I know there are going to be frustrating days, but we have a great team here.”