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  • WisBar News
    September 21, 2016

    Jamaican Lawyer Joins 40 Others in Passing the Bar Exam

    After passing the Wisconsin Bar Exam administered in July, 41 new Wisconsin lawyers were admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin at yesterday's swearing-in ceremony, including a Jamaican attorney with the goal of becoming a U.S. attorney.

    Shannon Green

    Dayle Blair

    Dayle Blair, already a lawyer in Jamaica, was sworn in as a Wisconsin lawyer. He plans to practice in the area of international taxation.

    Visit the photo album on the State Bar Facebook page for more photos of this event.

    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.

    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.

    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 speaks with family members of the newly sworn lawyers.

    Justice Shirley Abrahamson speaks with family members of the newly sworn-in lawyers.

    Visit the State Bar’s Facebook page for more photos of this event, or click here.

    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.

    Sarah Ann Sargent signs the Supreme Court Roll.

    Sarah Ann Sargent signs the Supreme Court Roll.

    Visit the State Bar’s Facebook page for more photos of this event, or click here.

    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

    Visit the State Bar’s Facebook page for more photos of this event, or click here.

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