Sign In
  • WisBar News
    May 21, 2021

    U.W. Admissions: Welcome to 148 New Wisconsin Lawyers

    Shannon Green

    On May 17, the State Bar of Wisconsin welcomed 148 new Wisconsin lawyers – graduates of the University of Wisconsin Law School. All of them overcame the challenges of law school during a pandemic, and are just starting their legal careers. Welcome to the State Bar!
    Amakie Amattey

    U.W. law grad Amakie Amattey signs the Attorney Roll book – a tradition in Wisconsin for more than 170 years – that is the final step in becoming a Wisconsin lawyer.

    May 21, 2021 – It is the culmination of years of work, with a twist: The U.W. Law School class of 2021 spent half their time in law school in a pandemic.

    In a year of remote work and virtual education, the Class of 2021 took their oath in person before the Wisconsin Supreme Court – not in the State Capitol’s Supreme Court Hearing Room as in years past, but wearing masks and socially distanced in the much larger space of the Assembly Chamber.

    “We have all experienced extraordinary challenges over the last 14 months,” said Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley, speaking to the soon-to-be lawyers.

    “Amidst tragedies, you have been very blessed: You are entering a new phase of life as you embark on your professional careers as lawyers. And that gives me great hope for the future.”

    Andrew Johnson

    U.W. Law grad Andrew Johnson joins his peers in taking the Attorney’s Oath before the Wisconsin Supreme Court during the swearing-in ceremony May 17.

    Meeting the Challenge of COVID-19

    The sudden move to isolation amid the pandemic was a “very scary” time, full of worry over family members and friends. “Nobody knew anything,” said U.W. Law School graduate Brittani Miller. But the U.W. Law School “did a great job transitioning to virtual classes, and that helped us immensely, making it one less worry for us.”

    The feeling of loss is real. “You don’t realize how much you missed the law building until you can’t go in there,” Miller said. In ordinary times, the students gather to talk, share ideas, and support each other, making connections with students in classes before and after their class years. “Even being in the classrooms and being cold-called by professors – which is terrifying, I missed that,” she said. When the building finally opens, Miller plans to return, even as an alumni, to “soak up” the environment.

    The pivot to virtual learning in the middle of their 2L year was “tough,” said Adam Fontana. “But we have a really great law school community at U.W.,” and worked together to get things done. “It was challenging, but rewarding in the end.”

    Graduates Isaac and Megan Brodkey, who met in law school and married before their 3L year, tried to take it in stride, “realizing that we will always have challenges in life,” said Isaac. “We were balancing COVID and marriage. It was a challenge, and it is part of our journey.”

    While virtual classrooms were not ideal, “we all made it through,” said grad Amakie Amattey.

    Megan and Isaac Brodkey

    Megan and Isaac Brodkey pause for a photo outside the Assembly Chamber after becoming Wisconsin Lawyers.

    Next Steps and New Beginnings

    Amattey is not the first lawyer in her family – but all the other lawyers in her family are from Ghana. She chose law as an area “where I will be able to make an impact. I enjoy advocating for myself and others, so this is one area where I can do that every day.”

    Fontana has his dream job: to work as a public defender – and as the first lawyer in his family, he is headed to Wausau. Inspired by movies like “My Cousin Vinnie” and television programs, Fontana developed his interest in criminal law and a desire to help others. “I’ve been drawn to that my whole life,” he said. “In my criminal law classes, I loved looking at the statutes and working out a criminal defense. I met public defenders before law school, and always thought that’s what I wanted to do.” Growing up in Blanchardville, he is excited also to work in rural areas in Wisconsin.

    The Brodkeys met the first semester of their 1L year in contracts law class – and together completed their degree, marrying in August 2020.  “We had an abbreviated COVID wedding,” said Isaac, “but it was still really nice.”

    Isaac, from a family of attorneys, always knew he would become a lawyer out of a desire to help others. “That was always my path,” he said. “I think I was 5 or 6 when I thought I was going to be a lawyer.”

    Megan will be working as a public defender in Madison – directly across the street from Isaac, who will join Stafford Rosenbaum. Megan knew she wanted to work in criminal defense even before entering law school. She had mentors in high school and during her undergraduate years that helped her on the path to become a lawyer. “I was really lucky to have them,” she said.

    Jenny Kumosz

    Jenny Kumosz of Milwaukee poses in graduation regalia at the Capitol Building in Madison, shortly before becoming a Wisconsin lawyer.

    Miller said the experience of finally taking the Attorney’s Oath and signing the Roll Book “is so surreal. You work for three years, and years before that and – now I’m a lawyer,” she said.

    Shannon GreenShannon Green is communications writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. She can be reached by email or by phone at (608) 250-6135.

    Miller’s path to law came via her position as a paralegal in the Air Force. “I worked with some fantastic attorneys,” she said. “They encouraged me to go to law school. With their support, I want to see where it goes.”

    Miller is headed to practice in real estate law with Michael Best in Milwaukee. She came to Wisconsin from North Carolina – and plans to take the bar exam for that state later in the summer. “North Carolina is home,” she said.

    Regan Pauls of Madison is joining the Air Force as a Judge Advocate General (JAG). While she isn’t sure where she will be located, she will start out as a prosecutor. She knew from sixth grade that she would be a lawyer. “My dad would say I’m good at arguing,” she said with a smile.

    Alexander Lech is headed to Wausau to work for Ellison & David, where he will eventually take over the practice of a retiring attorney. As a rural firm, “They do pretty much everything,” he said.

    As an in-person event, the swearing-in ceremony was the best part of the process of becoming a lawyer, Lech said – as their graduation ceremony was virtual. “It is a great way to give finality to our law school careers,” he said.

    Lech’s interested in law started with a mock trial program in sixth grade. He also got to know a neighbor who was an attorney. “Both of those stuck in my mind,” he said.

    He is first in the family to be in a lawyer. “He’s a great debater,” said Lech’s mother, Cindy.

    Kathy Brost

    State Bar President Kathy Brost speaks to U.W. Law School graduates during the swearing-in ceremony in the Assembly Chamber at the Capitol.

    Jenny Kumosz is will be an associate practicing in health care with Hall Render in Milwaukee – a firm she interned with both in her 1L and 2L summers. “I was so happy to get the offer,” she said.

    Kumosz knew since high school in Michigan that she wanted to be a lawyer – and as of Monday, she is the first lawyer in her family, although she is not the first in her family to work in the legal profession. When she was 5, she emigrated from China with her parents, with her father seeking a doctorate in engineering. Her grandmother, in China, was a judge. “In China, you can be a judge without being a lawyer,” she said.

    In addition to the challenges of law school amid COVID-19, Kumosz also was raising her son, Landon, born at the end of 2019. “I was 9 months pregnant walking up Bascom Hill,” she said. Her classmates were “amazing, she noted, in offering to help her during those months. “People are so kind,” she said.

    Interested in seeing more photos? Visit the State Bar's Facebook page for more event.

    Regan Pauls

    New lawyer Regan Pauls celebrates on the steps of the Capitol Building in Madison.

    Welcome to these New Wisconsin Lawyers

    Jennifer Acevedo, New York, New York

    George A. Acosta, Madison

    Aliuddin Syed Ahmed, Elmhurst, Illinois

    John L. Allison , Madison

    Amakie Amattey, Chicago

    Amy Ambro, Madison

    Justin Anderson, Madison

    Erin Bartenstein, Waldo

    Karen J. Bassler, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Lorraine Black, Madison

    Nicholas R. Bloom, Madison

    Isaac S. Brodkey, Middleton

    Megan Brodkey, Middleton

    Jack Brooks, Milwaukee

    Harper Brown, Milwaukee

    Margaret Brzakala, Saukville

    Sara Butler, Madison

    Sequoia Laureanna Butler, Madison

    Patrick Ryan Campbell, Sheboygan

    Emily H. Capodarco, Madison

    Sunyoung Cho, Madison

    Josephine Wilson Clark, Madison

    Brandon J. Conway, Milwaukee

    Lillie C. Cox, Madison

    Katharine M. Cullen, Janesville

    Shelley Cupino, Madison

    Monica Delgado, Madison

    Caitlyn DeWitt, Madison

    Gerardo J. D. Otero, Madison

    Tara J. Dobbs, Madison

    Jason Donker, Madison

    Breana K. Drozd, Chicago

    Benjamin C. Eastman, Whitefish Bay

    Joshua Engelkemier, Madison

    Carol English, Madison

    Monica Fallon, Madison

    Emma L. Ferguson, Madison

    Connor Fleck, Fort Wayne, Indiana

    Adam Fontana, Madison

    Bethany Fountain, Portage

    Savannah Frei, Madison

    Natalia J. Gess, Madison

    Carla Gracia, Madison

    Travis J. Gresham, Madison

    Thomas Hasle, Madison

    Kathryn E. Hayes, Madison

    Abigail Hean, Madison

    Abigail Grace Henderson, Madison

    Navjot Singh Hira, Madison

    Anya Gersoff, Greenwood Village, Colorado

     

    Hallie D. Heath, Waukesha

    Janae F. Hochmuth, Madison

    Colin Hoffman, Madison

    Molly Horwitz, Madison

    Brandon Thomas Hughey, Madison

    Brandon Hunzicker, Madison

    Emily Iverson Petit, Holmen

    Yejin Jang, Madison

    Rachel Jensen, Wild Rose

    Jiabao Ji, Madison

    Andrew Johnson, Madison

    Kyle J. Johnson, Anchorage, Alaska

    Emily Grace Jones, Madison

    Brendan Juno, Waukesha

    Samuel J. Kavalier, Madison

    Mckenna Kohlenberg, Madison

    Eugene T. Krakow, Madison

    KC Kratochvill, Madison

    Amy Krivoshik, Lake Bluff, Illinois

    Jenny Cao Kumosz, Wauwatosa

    Alexander Lech, Green Bay

    Kelly Leibhan, Kenosha

    Alexis R. Leonard, Madison

    Elizabeth Leonard, Sun Prairie

    Katherine Leverich, Madison

    Douglas Lewis, Madison

    Yulin Li, Madison

    Rongyi Lin, Madison

    Michael Longley, Madison

    Kendall Reid Maddix, Madison

    Andrea L Meltzer, Chicago

    Camilo Mesa, Madison

    Brittani M. Miller, Milwaukee

    Saman Mirzaian, Madison

    Jessa L. Moser, Madison

    Andrew G. Mueller, Madison

    Kelsey Mullins, Madison

    Andy Mutchler, Wausau

    Katherine Nawrocki, Madison

    Lauren Nelson, Madison

    Madeline Nelson, Grand Haven, Michigan

    Abrielle R. Newman, Milwaukee

    Randall W. Ollie, Madison

    Erik T. Olsen, Madison

    Courtney O’Reilly, Madison

    Alysja Otten, Osseo

    Molly Pappenheim, Madison

    Manuel Sanchez-Moyano, Madison

    Zebulon Patek, Eau Claire

    Regan Pauls, Madison

     

    Michael A. Pflughoeft Jr., Menomonee Falls

    Trenton J. Plitz, Eau Claire

    Elisabeth Platt, Shorewood

    John Podoll, Marinette

    Christina Puhnaty, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Kaylyn Raymaker, Madison

    Jennifer Recktenwald, Madison

    Evan Richtmyer, Madison

    Jordan Robinson-Delaney, Mukwonago

    Heather Roehr, Wausau

    Rebecca Roumell Rosenthal, New York, NY

    Jonathan Ross, Madison

    Samuel Ross, Madison

    Christopher Rudolph, Madison

    Lillian Ariadna Sanchez Porras, El Paso, Texas

    Claire Schaible, Green Bay

    Alexander Schmidt, Madison

    Michael John Schulz, Madison

    Jesse Schwartz, Neenah

    Olivia Schwartz, Milwaukee

    Amanda Rae Scott, Washington, D.C.

    Zoe Imber Sellman, Baltimore, Maryland

    William Ty Sessums, Manitowoc

    Naomi Smith, Madison

    Bradley P. Soldon, Madison

    Anthony Sparks, Madison

    Phillip Steigerwald, Milwaukee

    Grace Stewart, Madison

    Margaret Straughan, Milwaukee

    Vivien TenHaken, Madison

    Jacob Thorne, Milwaukee

    Alexis Trost, Hartford

    Julie Vernon, Minneapolis

    Nathan VerVelde, Abrams

    Peter Vu, Waukesha

    Patrick A. Ward, Madison

    Eleanor LM Waters, Madison

    Nathan Watson, Madison

    Dominic Lutz Weisse, Madison

    Alexander Whiteclay, Madison

    Aaron Whyte, Madison

    Spencer J. Wingert, East Troy

    Jacob Wise, Madison

    Ashley Wychules, Belleville

    Seynabou Youm, Madison

    Sojung Yun, Madison

    Magnus Zaunmueller, Madison

    Ningliu Zhou, New York, New York




News & Pubs Search

-
Format: MM/DD/YYYY