Dayle Blair, already a lawyer in Jamaica, was sworn in as a Wisconsin lawyer. He plans to practice in the area of international taxation.
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Sept. 21, 2016 – Being a lawyer in Jamaica wasn't enough for Dayle Blair. A certified public accountant, he plans to work in international taxation. But he discovered that saying he is a Jamaican lawyer did not have much effect on potential clients. “I want to say I am a U.S. attorney,” Blair said. “That carries a lot of weight.”
After law school in Jamaica, Blair attended the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, obtaining his LLM degree in taxation. He chose to take the exam in Wisconsin. “Wisconsin has reciprocity with other states,” he said, unlike California.
And on Sept. 20, he realized his dream: He was sworn in as a Wisconsin attorney.
Blair joined 40 other recent law school graduates, sworn in as Wisconsin’s newest lawyers in the Supreme Court Hearing Room.
New Wisconsin lawyer Jamae Pennings points to her name at the reception.
“It’s a super day for us to see new lawyers admitted to the bar,” said Chief Justice Patience Roggensack.
“This is one of the best things we get to do as Supreme Court justices,” said Justice Annette Ziegler.
The new Wisconsin lawyers listened to advice from three justices, took the Attorney’s Oath, and signed the Roll Book – a long-standing Wisconsin tradition.
Advice: Get Involved
After taking the oath, they heard advice from Justice Ziegler, who acknowledged that the profession isn’t always an easy one. If you fail, she said, “get up and try, try again.
“You shouldn’t let your fear of failure stop you,” Justice Ziegler said.
New Wisconsin lawyers take the Attorney's Oath in a ceremony in Madison.
Lawyers should be honorable participants and mentors in the legal profession, always aware of the great responsibility and power they hold. “Wield that power very wisely,” Justice Ziegler said. “Justice depends on good, independent lawyers who do their job.”
The new lawyers also received advice from State Bar President Fran Deisinger, who encouraged them to get involved in their local bars and the State Bar – places to find friends.
“The profession doesn’t have to be lonely,” he told them. “Reach out. Get involved.”
Justice Shirley Abrahamson urged the new Wisconsin lawyers to also get involved in their communities, in aid societies, churches, synagogues, and other non-profit organizations.
“They need your help on serious matters,” Justice Abrahamson said. “Make it part of your lives, and turn it into a habit. If you don’t do it now, you will never do it.”
Celebrating with Family, Friends, and Colleagues
The 41 newest Wisconsin lawyers passed the bar exam in July. According to Jacquelynn Rothstein, director of the Board of Bar Examiners, 64 percent of the 122 test-takers passed. They were graduates of 66 different law schools. Of those taking the exam for the first time, 71 percent passed.
They include: Christopher Hemsing of Sheboygan, welcomed to the family profession by father Joseph and brother Justin Hemsing, both Wisconsin lawyers; Nicholas Kitzman and Benjamin Genzer, friends and classmates at Duke University School of Law in North Carolina, now colleagues working in Milwaukee; and Celeste Gibson of Viroqua, a CPA who obtained her law degree from William Howard Taft University while working full time.
Two out-of-state attorneys will work as public defenders to gain experience in criminal law: Donald Reape, who grew up in New York and obtained his law degree in May from Michigan, is headed to Racine. “He was studying the whole summer,” said his sister, Lillian Reape, who traveled from New Hampshire to see her brother sworn in. Michael Scarantino, from Pennsylvania, drove to Wisconsin with his mother to attend the ceremony – and start his life in Stevens Point.
Dan Koblitz traveled to attend the ceremony from Merrill, where he has a job with Church Mutual Insurance. He obtained his J.D. and his Master of Divinity at Regent University School of Law in Virginia. He put a lot of work into studying for the exam. “It paid off,” Koblitz said.
The State Bar welcomes these new Wisconsin attorneys:
Marisa L. Berlinger, Madison
Dayle Orland Blair, Mandeville, Jamaica
Taliesen Michael Burrows, Burlington
Christie B. Carrino, Milwaukee
Steven Francis Corfman, Oshkosh
Bryan J. Dworak, Milwaukee
Lauren A. Fletcher, Milwaukee
Raymond French, Eau Claire
Benjamin B. Genzer, Milwaukee
Celeste Gibson, Viroqua
Michael Godbe, Madison
Edward Fuerste Henry, Dubuque, Iowa
Heather Kay Haseley, Washington, DC
Chrisotpher Jordan Hemsing, Sheboygan
Christopher M. Hruska, Milwaukee
Eli Barrott Judge, Madison
Lisa Jean Kaiser, Wausau
Nicholas Kitzman, Milwaukee
Daniel C. Koblitz, Merrill
Peter Leahy, Madison
Alexander Lodge, Madison
Tyler Roth, Milwaukee
Sarah Marie Mankovecky, Appleton
Julie L. Matucheski, Green Bay
Thomas Dale McNamee, Escanaba, Michigan
Amanda Joan Merkwae, Milwaukee
Karleigh K. Miller, Eau Claire
Stephanie Lynn Nortman, Black River Falls
Jamae Pennings, Somerset
Matthew Wayne Peters, Manitowoc
Donald Patrick Reape, Racine
Angel Rose Kwaterski, Pleasant Prairie
Kate Sagers, Oshkosh
Sarah Ann Sargent, Milwaukee
Michael Scarantino, Stevens Point
Alison E. Stites, Madison
Hollie Nicole Sumrall, Madison
Nicole Danielle Wanlass, Milwaukee
Kristen L. Wetzel, Chicago
Kristine J. Williams, Wauwatosa
Scott Zimmerman, Milwaukee
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