Donald O’Melia Scholarships
G. Lane Ware (former State Bar and Foundation President) believed organizations with succession plans have the best possible talent trained and ready to lead when an opening presents itself.
With succession planning in mind, the State Bar of Wisconsin started the Annual Leadership Development Summit in 2013. Summit participants are nominated by current Bar leaders, and upon completion of the Summit, are asked to commit to volunteer leadership positions on State Bar committees or other voluntary leadership opportunities.
In an effort to continue assisting these new attorneys on their journey to becoming Bar leaders, the Foundation developed the Donald O’Melia Scholarships. Each year, funds are distributed from the Primary Fund for up to 12 Donald O’Melia Scholarships (covering tuition and meals) for Summit participants (who have committed to a volunteer leadership position) to attend the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Annual Meeting & Conference.
Belle Case La Follette Awards
Belle Case La Follette Awards recognize three recent law school graduates who are State Bar of Wisconsin members, practicing law in Wisconsin, and representing underserved populations, such as people of modest means and those who live in rural areas and have limited access to legal representation.
“Access to justice is central to the Foundation’s mission. These awards allow us to honor and support attorneys who dedicate their practice to the most underserved in our state. We want to recognize attorneys who travel great distances to serve economically distressed clients in rural areas and those that provide legal services in urban areas, where poverty or language barriers too often result in a denial of justice.”
Attorney Joe Troy
7/1/22 - 6/30/24 President
2020-22 Awards Committee Chair
Fellows Class of 2014
Belle Case La Follette Awards Call for Applications
Belle Case La Follette Awards are awarded annually to recognize three law school graduates who are State Bar of Wisconsin members practicing in Wisconsin, and who are currently representing under-served populations, such as people of modest means and those who live in rural areas.
One award will be given to a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. One award will be given to a graduate of Marquette University Law School. One award will be given to a graduate of a law school located outside Wisconsin who is practicing in Wisconsin.
In addition to being recognized for providing excellent representation to underserved persons, each awardee will receive a $2,500 check to support his or her practice. The awards are unrestricted, allowing recipients to use them at their own discretion – whether that's school loans, office expenses, or to meet other financial needs.
These awards are made possible by generous contributions from the members of the Wisconsin Law Foundation. Awardees are recognized for their achievement at the Foundation’s prestigious Fellows Recognition Dinner held in the fall.
Have questions? Need assistance? For more information, please contact Beth Drake at (608) 250-6171 or WLF-Fellows@wisbar.org.