Outstanding Young Lawyer Award
The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is for State Bar members under 36 years old or in their first five years of practice. The YLD provides leadership training and networking opportunities. It also encourages its members to be active in the State Bar, local and specialty bar associations, and communities. YLD presents the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award and Outstanding Mentor Award.
The Outstanding Young Lawyer Award pays tribute to a young lawyer who has made an impact in his or her practice area, in service to the State Bar of Wisconsin, and in service to the community.
Sofia Ascorbe, an attorney at the Legal Action of Wisconsin, is this year’s award recipient. Sofia works in the downtown Milwaukee office, where she helps create and facilitate pro bono programming that utilizes volunteer lawyers to expand direct services to low-income Wisconsinites.
She is honored for her commitment to helping the underserved, including in her commitment to coordinating the Eviction Defense Project (EDP), a project that provides in-court representation for low-income tenants facing eviction. In Milwaukee County, there are over 14,000 eviction cases every year and approximately 90% of those facing eviction are unrepresented. Sofia recruits, trains, and provides legal expertise to volunteer attorneys for the EDP, and she provides community education and outreach on housing law.
In 2018, members of the Eviction Defense Project — including Sofia – were recognized as “Wisconsin Legal Innovators.” In 2019, the EDP was able to help with over 600 evictions. Beyond helping people to remain in their homes, the project is also integral in helping clients keep their records clean of eviction notices so they’re not viewed as potential “risks” by future landlords and employers.
Sofia is a 2017 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, and a 2014 graduate of Marquette University. While raised in sunny Miami, Sofia considers Wisconsin to be her home, and hopes to continue serving the community through creative initiatives. She currently serves on two local nonprofit boards and is a member of the newly created Marquette Hispanic Alumni Board, where she participates in student-centered programming and mentorship.