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Leonard L. Loeb Award

The Senior Lawyers Division (SLD) offers activities and content focusing on the needs and interests of lawyers age 60 or older. Through the Leonard L. Loeb Award, the SLD recognizes a senior lawyer who has made significant contributions to the legal community, shown respect for the legal system, and demonstrated a love for the law and what it seeks to accomplish.

​​Michelle Behnke

This year’s award goes to Michelle Behnke of Behnke & Associates in Madison. Michelle is the principal of the firm where her practice is focused in the areas of business, real estate, and estate planning. Michelle has over 25 years of experience in the real estate area and has dealt with issues of cross-border asset acquisition, real estate refinancing with insurance companies, and annexation of property into city limits. Before she hung out her shingle, Michelle worked at Stolpter, Koritzinsky, Brewster & Neider, S.C., in Madison, then practiced as in-house counsel for CUNA Mutual Insurance Society.

Michelle is a member of multiple professional associations, including the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Dane County Bar Association, and the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers. She is also a member of the American Bar Foundation Fellows, an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars who have been elected by their peers. Membership in the Fellows is limited to less than one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction.

Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin ’83 and the University of Wisconsin Law School ’88, Michelle has stayed busily involved in the Madison community. She’s been a member of the Board of Visitors since 2005 and is active on the boards of SSM Healthcare of Wisconsin and Dean Health Plan, Inc. Her former roles also include a three-year term on the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors, Chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services, and President and Treasurer of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Michael May, President Elect of the Senior Lawyers Division, summarizes why Michelle was deserving of this year’s Leonard Loeb award: “I have known Michelle Behnke professionally and personally for many years. Her dedication to improve the legal profession, both in Wisconsin and nationally, is a beacon to all of us. Her consistent efforts to enhance the lives of all communities in the greater Madison area and statewide is unsurpassed by any lawyer I know.”

Watch the presentation of the Leonard L. Loeb Award