April Lande and her husband, Paul Lande, Eau Claire, took their sons out of school for the day so they could watch their mom become a Wisconsin lawyer. The boys are, from left: Dylan, 10; Tyler, 6; and Evan, 8.
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May 1, 2019 – The 19 new Wisconsin lawyers include those just starting a career, and those starting a second one. They represent both large cities and small towns, and come from as far away as San Francisco and Utah.
All passed the Wisconsin bar exam in February, becoming Wisconsin lawyers on April 17, 2019, taking the Attorney’s Oath and signing the Wisconsin Supreme Court Roll at a reception hosted by the State Bar of Wisconsin.
The new Wisconsin lawyers were welcomed by Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, and given words of wisdom by Justice Daniel Kelly, who reminded them that a career as a lawyer also is a life in service. “We come to practice law because we are called here,” he said.
Jacquelynn B. Rothstein, director of Board of Bar Examiners, said 43 percent of the 81 individuals who took the bar exam in February passed it. And 51 percent of those taking the exam for the first time passed the exam, she said. “Congratulations to those who passed the exam,” she said.
The new Wisconsin lawyers include Nicole Flemming of Milwaukee, moved to admission by Jay Urban of Urban & Taylor, S.C., Milwaukee. “She is the true next-generation voice for the voiceless,” Urban said.
Gloria Hand of Wausau was moved to admission by her husband, Matthew Hand. She was “very good” in helping him study as a law student that he encouraged her to attend as well. “She is an example of what it takes to be an exemplary lawyer,” he said.
In the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room, 19 soon-to-be Wisconsin lawyers take the Attorney’s Oath.
A Double Calling
David Demirbilek is not just a University of Virginia Law School alum – and a new Wisconsin lawyer who worked as a political staffer in Washington, D.C. – he also recently graduated from seminary school in Nashotah. Now that he is a lawyer, his next step is being ordained in the Episcopal Church next year. “In many ways, it can be more involved than becoming a lawyer,” he said.
Demirbilek hopes to practice law and become a minister. “I could be in a smaller church and practice law as well,” he said.
David Demirbilek of Nashotah signs the Attorney’s Roll book – a tradition from before Wisconsin became a state. The signature is the final step in becoming a Wisconsin lawyer.
Not Far from Home
April Lande, an August 2018 graduate of Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, is looking forward to her first weeks as a Wisconsin lawyer with Kulig, Michalak & Franklin in Independence, Wisconsin. “They do a little bit of everything except family law,” she said.
Lande, married to husband Paul Lande and a mother of three young boys (ages 6, 8, and 10), made connections that landed her the job as a participant in the Greater Wisconsin Initiative Bus Tour last October. The tour introduces lawyers seeking jobs with lawyers, judges, and community leaders in the more rural parts of Wisconsin, where lawyers are needed.
Her new job is just a 30-minute commute through the Northwoods from her home near Eau Claire. “I took the tour because I was hoping to find something near my house, and it worked out very well,” she said. “It’s great to be finished with school and starting my legal career.”
Teng Lee of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, and a new Wisconsin lawyer, poses for a selfie with a friend after the ceremony in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room.
‘She Can Do Anything’
During the ceremony, Joe Avery proudly watched his wife, Heather Avery, take the oath.
org sgreen wisbar Shannon Green is a writer, editor, and photographer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. She can be reached by org sgreen wisbar email or by phone at (608) 250-6135.
“She woke up one morning and said ‘I want to be a lawyer,’” Joe said. Having witnessed her ability to run businesses and “do anything and everything,” he supports her dream.
While Heather attended John Marshall Law School in Chicago – a 2 ½ hour commute each way from their home on the Wisconsin/Illinois border – Joe worked 16-hour days, 6 days per week as a lineman for a power company in Illinois. And during this time, they were raising two young boys.
Heather owns two businesses: cleaning and a pest control business. And, apart from studying for the Wisconsin bar exam, she is also one test away from becoming a Certified Public Accountant. Her next test is the Illinois bar exam.
“She is amazing,” Joe said. “I can’t even stress that enough. She’s one of the strongest women I’ve ever met.”
New Wisconsin attorney Heather Avery of McHenry, Illinois, poses at the name wall with her husband, Joe.
Welcome to These 19 New Wisconsin Lawyers:
- Alexandra G. Arkin, Elm Grove
- Heather L. Avery, McHenry, Illinois
- Desmonde X. Bennett, Hayward
- David Demirbilek, Nashotah
- Nicholas J. Engel, Waukesha
- Nicole Flemming, Milwaukee
- Gloria L.H. Hand, Wausau
- April Lande, Eau Claire
- Teng Lee, St. Paul, Minnesota
- Reginald Lockett, Thiensville
- Ysabel Lonazco, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Jason E. McCollough, Waunakee
- Lindsey M. Newhauser, Appleton
- Kimberly Alexis Nyitray, San Francisco, California
- Rachel Elizabeth Pisors, Neillsville
- Chad Daniel Post, La Crosse
- Evan M. Seibel, Fond Du Lac
- Dainey M. Thomas, Saint Francis
- Sarah J. Tyrrell, Mosinee