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Diversity Trailblazer Award

The Diversity & Inclus​ion Trailblazer Award celebrates an individual who contributes to and enhances diversity and inclusion within the Wisconsin legal profession. This individual is someone who:

  • is a State Bar member in good standing;
  • shows dedicated service to their clients and to the legal profession as a whole; and
  • has participated in activities that increase the public's awareness of diversity and inclusion efforts in the legal profession.

If you would like to submit a nomination, please include a brief description of why the individual should be nominated and how their work meets the award criteria. Award winners are chosen in January and the award is presented at the Member Recognition Celebration in July.

If you have any questions, please contact Jacque Evans.

Jacque Evans
State Bar of Diversity & Inclusion Specialist
Phone: (608)250-6083

2023 Recipient - Chief Judge Carl Ashley, Milwaukee County Circuit Court

Judge Carl Ashley

Chief Judge Carl Ashley has served 24 years on the bench. He has served in every division (Misdemeanor, Felony, Family Court, Large Claims Civil, and Children's Court), as well as the Adult Drug Treatment Court, Veterans Treatment Court, and Domestic Violence Court. 

Judge Ashle​y is Chair of the Supreme Court Planning and Policy Subcommittee on Effective Justice Strategies (EJS). Judge Ashley is also Past Chair of the Wisconsin State Bar Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee. He is the Chair of the Milwaukee County Race, Equity and Procedural Justice Committee. 

He is a member of the Evidenced-based Sentencing Judicial Peer Group for the National Center for State Courts. He is a faculty member of the Wisconsin Judicial College. He is the Chairs of the Wisconsin Association of Treatment Court Professionals (WATCP) Subcommittee on Equity and Inclusion. In 2003, he received the Innovator of the Year Award in recognition of vision​, crea​tivity, and innovative spirit. In 2011, he was selected by the State Bar of Wisconsin as Judge of the Year. ​

In 2013, Judge Ashley received the Leaders in the Law Award from the Wisconsin Law Journal. In 2014 and 2015, Judge Ashley was presented with the State Bar’s President’s Award. In 2016, he received the E. Michael McCann Distinguished Public Service Award. In 2019, he received the Charles L. Goldberg, Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Law Foundation. 

He is married to Felita Daniels Ashley and they have two girls, Elise and Zoe. ​

​​Diversity Clerkship Program Champion Award


  • First-year Marquette University Law School and University of Wisconsin Law School students with diverse backgrounds who are in good standing may apply
  • Successful applicants demonstrate a commitment to diversity and a record of academic achievement​

2021 Champion of Diversity: Wisconsin Department of Corrections​​​​

DOC Receiving AwardThe Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Kevin A. Carr (right) and members of the DOC’s legal team pose with DCP clerk Jodi Chung (center) as they accept the 2021 Champion of Diversity Award. Members of the legal team who worked with Chung over the summer include, Jad Itani, who participated in the clerkship program with the department as a 1L and is now with the department's Office of Legal Counsel (second from right); Matthew Foley, chief legal counsel (second from left); Glen Mercier, legal office manager (left). 

Find out more about the State Bar of Wisconsin Diversity Clerkship Program.​​

Past Diversity Trailblazer Award Winners

2022 - Atty. Marisol Gonzalez Castillo
2021 - No award given
2020 - Atty. Anza D'Antonio
2019 - Atty. Miriam Horwitz​