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Be the Difference

Law School Award Recpients


McKeithan-GebhardtDeborah McKeithan-Gebhardt, Law ’87
Whitefish Bay, Wis.

As CEO and president of Tamarack Petroleum Company, Inc., Deb works with and leads her team to negotiate, close and implement good deals. She pursues excellence in everything she does.

That could be why the aspect of oil and gas exploration she enjoys most is transactional work. Although each deal is different, she relies on a specific formula for success: one part psychology, one part law, one part economics, and one part creativity. Her work often involves learning on the job. She and her team currently are involved in a case in a Texas county so small that the judge only sits on the bench once a month. “I haven’t had previous experience with litigation in such a rural area, and I’m learning a lot from outside counsel,” she says.

Deb believes that the law school education she received, especially the hands-on experience she gained through internships, prepared her well for her career. She also credits Marquette’s legal writing class with helping her develop an ability to craft concise, organized and well-written documents.

Marquette’s mission also influences Deb’s life, particularly when it comes to her family. As busy as her professional duties keep her, she believes she does her most important service work as a mother and grandmother. “As a mother of six daughters who are now young women,” she says, “I attempt to model the qualities of excellence, faith, leadership and service, along with one other important attribute: courage.”

Deb serves on the Marquette Law School Advisory Board and is a member of the Woolsack Society.

Fun Fact:

The most influential person in Deb’s life was her father, Daniel “Jack” McKeithan, Jr. “He taught and lived excellence, faith, service, leadership, and integrity,” she says. “He did so firmly but with love and, when appropriate, humor.”