Louise M. Wells took over the leadership of Morris, Manning & Martin in January in the midst of the worst real estate bust to hit Atlanta in most lawyers’ memories.

It is a challenging time to be running a large law firm, but Wells is upbeat and entrepreneurial by nature — and no stranger to the ups and downs of the economy. Like her predecessor as managing partner, Robert Saudek, she is a real estate lawyer. Saudek, one of Morris Manning’s founders, will retire at the end of the year.