Press Release: Sheboygan County attorney recognized for contributions to the legal profession:

State Bar of Wisconsin

Sign In

News & Pubs Search

  • Press Release

    Sheboygan County attorney recognized for contributions to the legal profession

    Share This:


    Thomas Solberg
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (608) 250-6025
    (608) 630-0432 (cell)
    (800) 444-9404 ext. 6025
    org tsolberg wisbar wisbar tsolberg org


    Sheboygan County attorney recognized for contributions to the legal profession

    October 6, 2011 — A Sheboygan County attorney will be recognized by her peers with an award for her leadership and dedication to the success of small Wisconsin law firms.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin's Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Section will present its 2011 John Lederer Service Award to Attorney Roberta Ann Heckes at the group's annual conference in the Wisconsin Dells on October 28.

    "Because the vast majority of law firms in Wisconsin operate as small businesses with three or fewer attorneys who provide a wide range of legal services to their communities, effective lawyers have to master both the management skills needed to run any small business and the professional insights required to meet the varied needs of their clients," explains former section chair Paul Angel. "We have responded to that need with direct support from State Bar staff and training opportunities like our annual conference, but often the most useful help comes from peer-to-peer advice from more experienced attorneys. Roberta Ann Heckes epitomizes this essential but under-appreciated aspect of the legal profession. She routinely helps other members as they seek to improve their practice and mentors new lawyers in criminal law work, especially those living outside the Milwaukee and Madison areas."

    As one peer supporting her nomination noted, "Roberta talks with younger attorneys about their courtroom experience in order that they might better their courtroom representation. Equally important, she talks with them about how the practice of law can fit into their lives, so that they might achieve a healthy balance between work and life."

    Heckes, a 1999 Marquette University Law School graduate, has become a leading member of the private bar in accepting state public defender cases. A solo practitioner who works throughout Eastern Wisconsin, her practice includes trial and appellate cases. Heckes has served as a member of the State Bar's Appellate Practice Section Board and as one of the few solo attorneys serving on its Bench & Bar Committee.

    In addition to her legal training and experience, Heckes credits her twenty-plus years as a truck driver and dispatcher as a source of insights on how to manage a small business. "Driving a truck is a lot like running a law office," she observes. "You know where you want to go and why it's important to get there, but to get the job done efficiently you have to manage lots of variables, keep careful records and you have to be able to work with people from many backgrounds."

    Today, truckers are a significant part of her law practice and her determination to meet their legal needs draws from the same dedication she routinely demonstrates as she helps her attorney peers achieve their full potential. "My goal is to help truckers solve problems they can't handle themselves so they can stay focused on what they do best – keeping American businesses moving."

    Named in memory of Attorney John Lederer, this award is presented annually to an individual, group or organization exemplifying the leadership, spirit and dedication of John Lederer, who saw it as his mission to help solo and small firm lawyers master the skills and technology needed to build their practices.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a Wisconsin law license. With more than 24,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the value of lawyers. For more information, visit

    #   #   #