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Gordon Sinykin Award of Excellence Recipients

​​​The Gordon Sinykin Award of Excellence recognizes a lawyer or organization for work on an individual law-related education or public service project in the preceding year. The award is presented at the Member Recognition Celebration at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Annual Meeting & Conference.

Year Awarded Award Recipient
(No award presented)
Wisconsin Association of ​African-​American Lawyers (WAAL), Milwaukee​
​Rebecca Emily Rapp, Madison
2020 (No award presented)
2019Professor David E. Schultz, Madiso​n
2018Judge Brian Blanchard, Madison
2017Amy Ferguson, Rhinelander
Emily Lonergan, Milwaukee
2016Megan McDermott, Madison
2015National Mock Trial Committee, chaired by Kevin Lonergan
2014Kenneth A. Knudson, Andover, MN
2013 (No award presented)
2012 (No award presented)
2011 (No award presented)
2010Jenifer Binder, Stevens Point
Kristine Louise Havlik, Milwaukee
2009 (No award presented)
2008Michael Hatch, Madison
Bruce Keyes, Milwaukee
2007Jennifer L. Binkley, Madison
2006Marsha M. Mansfield, Madison
2005Irene Wren, Madison
2004Michele M. LaVigne, Madison
2003Jerome M. Elliott, Beloit
2002Marathon Bar Association (Shane Falk)
2001Racine County Bar Association
2000Dane County Bar Association
1999Jefferson County Bar Association
1998La Crosse County Bar Association
1997John S. Skilton, Madison
1996La Crosse County Bar
1995Hon. William D. Dyke, Dodgeville*
1994Young Lawyer Division Law Day for the Clergy Committee
1993Louise G. Trubek, Madison

* deceased

Who was Gordon Sinykin?

Gordon Sinykin

June 18, 1910 – Jan. 25, 1991

Gordon Sinykin  

Gordon Sinykin served as President of the Wisconsin Law Foundation in the mid-1970s and was on the board and Executive Committee until his death in 1991. He was a leader in fundraising efforts for the Lawyer Hotline, Mock Trial and Dane County Mediation programs, Project Inquiry (which involved lawyers teaching high school students), and for State Bar publications, On Being 18 and The Bill of Rights – An Introduction.

Sinykin was an organizer of the National Conference of Bar Foundations (NCBF). He served as its president and his efforts helped move its membership from a few state bar foundations to nearly all state bar foundations, including all large local bar foundations and several Canadian bar foundations. The NCBF is more than 100 strong today.

He served as president of the Dane County Bar Association, on the State Bar Board of Governors, as a Wisconsin representative to the American Bar Association, and along with Assistant Attorney General Warren Resh, he won the 1961 case of Lathrop v. Donahue, which upheld integration of the Wisconsin Bar.

Sinykin served Wisconsin as an important member of the campaigns of Gov. Phillip F. La Follette and Sen. Robert M. La Follette Jr. and in the formation of the Progressive Party of Wisconsin in 1934. He was also a member of the Judicial Commission, a drafter of the insurance code, and served in several appointed positions in Dane County and the city of Madison.

A major in the U.S. Air Force during WWII, Sinykin received the Bronze Star and witnessed the signing of the Japanese surrender on the Battleship Missouri.