Press Release: News Release May 2003: Four local lawyers honored at State Bar Annual Convention this Week:

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    News Release May 2003: Four local lawyers honored at State Bar Annual Convention this Week

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    For Immediate Release
      CONTACT: Christi Powers
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
    org cpowers wisbar wisbar cpowers org

    Four local lawyers honored at State Bar Annual Convention this Week

    MADISON, May 6, 2003 - Four Milwaukee-area lawyers will be recognized for outstanding public service on Wednesday at the State Bar of Wisconsin's annual convention, where some 1,000 lawyers will convene at the Midwest Airlines Center from May 7 to 9. Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Bar President Patricia Ballman will present the awards and provide remarks.

    Recognized for their volunteer efforts and community service, Atty. Barbara J. Graham, Atty. Megan M. Rosborough, Atty. Rachel Schneider, Atty. Harry F. Franke and Atty. James J. Podell will be honored at the 5:30 p.m. ceremony, in Ballroom CD at the Hyatt Regency. Two Marquette Law School students, Erin Grall and Erin Karshen, will also be recognized for their student activism efforts through the Public Interest Law Society.

    Atty. Barbara J. Graham, director of the Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services (ILS), will receive the Attorney of the Year Award for her work with the Hispanic population in providing counsel on immigration matters. Graham has implemented several nonprofit legal education programs in matters such as citizenship appeals, passport applications, green card renewals and battered immigrant protection. In two years, ILS has overseen nearly 1,500 cases representing immigrants from 44 different countries currently living in ten eastern Wisconsin counties. Additionally, ILS will receive the 2002 Pro Bono Award for a legal service entity for developing a broad-based community project that assists the underrepresented immigration population in the Milwaukee area.

    Atty. Rachel A. Schneider, Quarles & Brady LLP, will receive a 2002 Pro Bono Award for her volunteer activism and leadership of the Milwaukee County Bar Association's Legal Services for the Indigent Committee. Schneider has spearheaded two projects promoting volunteer lawyer advocacy on domestic violence issues and has also helped recruit a team of lawyers to provide free counsel on parental rights proceedings.

    Atty. Harry F. Franke, from the law firm of Cook & Franke, will be honored with the Belle Case La Follette Outstanding Professional Award for his outstanding contribution toward the advancement of the legal profession. As a founding partner of his 35-member firm, Franke is recognized as a role model for his community service efforts. Having been in active duty during World War II as a lieutenant colonel, Franke also served a two-year term in the Wisconsin State Assembly and a four-year term in Wisconsin State Senate. During his legal career, Franke has sat on several civic boards including Rotary Foundation, the United Way and the Greater Milwaukee Committee.

    Atty. James J. Podell, from the firm of Podell & Podell, will receive the Gordon Sinykin Award of Excellence for his community outreach efforts to provide legal education and public service. Podell is past chair of the State Bar's Family Law Section and also served as president for the local chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is the retired editor for both the Wisconsin Journal of Family Law and also the American Journal of Family Law and has previously lectured at the Wisconsin Supreme Court Judicial College.

    Two Marquette Law School Students will be recognized for their volunteer efforts as board members of the Public Interest Law Society:

    Erin K. Grall, a recent Marquette Law School graduate, will receive a 2002 Outstanding Public Interest Award for her efforts and membership in the Pro Bono Society and also for her contributions as vice president of Equal Justice Works (formerly known as the National Association for the Public Interest of Law) after serving as Midwest coordinator for one year. She helped develop a loan repayment program at Marquette and also worked for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington DC last year. She will join her father's law firm Grall, Fanara & Glenn in Vero Beach, Florida, to practice law affecting women's rights.

    Erin Karshen, a third-year Marquette Law School student, will also receive a 2002 Outstanding Public Interest Award for her efforts in working with the Waukesha Court Self-Help Program and as serving as co-president for the Public Interest Law Society for three years. As an Evans Scholarship recipient, Karshen attended law school while also clerking for judges in the criminal and traffic division of the Waukesha County Court. She is a member of the Pro Bono Society and served on the national board of directors for the Equal Justice Works committee as the Midwest regional representative.

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    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a law license in Wisconsin. With more than 20,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out initiatives to educate the public about the legal system.