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Pro Bono Awards


Each year, the State Bar's Legal Assistance Committee reviews nominations it receives in the following categories:

  • Individual attorney in private practice, corporate practice, or employed by a government office or agency;
  • A private law firm, group or association

The committee typically makes one award in each category but if no nomination is received in one category, the committee may make a second award in the other. Awards are conferred annually during the Member Recognition Celebration at the State Bar's Annual Meeting & Conference.


In making its decisions on the Pro Bono Awards, the Legal Assistance Committee considers whether the nominee has:

  • Demonstrated dedication to the development and delivery of legal services to the poor,
  • Contributed significantly toward developing innovative ways to deliver volunteer legal services;
  • Participated in an activity that resulted in satisfying previously unmet legal needs or extending legal services to an underserved segment of the population;
  • Handled pro bono cases that favorably affected the provision of services to the poor;
  • Worked on legislation that contributed substantially to legal services to the poor;
  • Made an outstanding effort to provide legal services to an underserved segment of the population; or
  • Any combination of these contributions.


Nominations may be submitted using the nomi​nation form provided by the Legal Assistance Committee or in a format that provides substantially similar information. Nominations must be received by the last Friday in January and will be considered only if accompanied by sufficient information supporting the nomination. 

​​Submit a nom​ination​ ​


 Examples of supporting information include:

  • A written summary of the pro bono service or services provided by the nominee, or a description of the nominee's commitment to the provision of pro bono civil legal services;
  • The nominee's resume or curriculum vitae;
  • Newspaper, newsletter, or magazine articles documenting the nominee's service, or brochures about the nominee's work or the organization with which the nominee is affiliated;
  • Testimonials or letters of support or recommendations from clients who have been helped by the nominee; and
  • Letters of support or recommendations from colleagues and persons with whom the nominee has worked in providing pro bono services.


Current voting members of the Legal Assistance Committee are not eligible to receive an award. Legal services offices are not eligible to receive an award in the law firm category.

Supplemental Materials Submission

Supplemental nomination materials may be sent to us by email.​

Previous Award Winners

Pro Bono Attorney of the Year
Douglas Klingberg, Wausau2016
Dera Johnson-Tracy, Madison2015
Andrew Declerq, Madison2014
Michael Lueder, Milwaukee2013
Cody Wagner, Madison2012
Michael Gengler, Monticello2011
David Harth, Madison2010
Mark Borns, Madison2009
Gary King, Eau Claire2008
Earl Munson, Madison2007
Susan Jaskukski, Milwaukee2006
Patrick Patterson, Fox Point2006
Colleen Ball, Wauwatosa2006
Katherine Perhach, Milwaukee2005
Jessica Abbott, Brookfield2005
Roy Froemming, Madison2004
Sara Buscher, Appleton2003
Timothy J. O’Brien, New Richmond2003
Megan M. Rosborough, Stoddard2002
Rachel A. Schneider, Milwaukee2002
Donald A. Schoenfeld, Milwaukee2001
James H. McDermott, Madison2000
Howard Eisenberg, Milwaukee1999
Maureen Feran Freedland, La Crosse1999
Ernesto Romero, Milwaukee1998
Tom Sleik, La Crosse1997
Sonja A. Lee, Madison1996
Stacy Gerber Ward, Milwaukee1995
L. William Staudenmaier, Milwaukee1995
Richard S. Gondik, Jr., Superior1994
Joseph S. Neterval, Milwaukee1993
Debra J. Procknow, Kenosha1993
David B. Russell, LaCrosse1993

Pro Bono Law Firm or Organization of the Year
Merchant & Gould2016
Quarles & Brady LLP (Madison office)2015
Gass Weber Mullins LLC2014
UW Veterans Law Center2013
Gennerman Mazzie-Briscoe Law Group, Madison2010
Milwaukee Domestic Abuse Restraining Order Teams -
Quarles & Brady LLP, Reinhart; Boerner Van Deuren, S.C.;
& Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, S.C.
Heller Ehrman LLP, Madison2007
Dane County Delivery of Legal Services Committee2004
Winnebago County Bar Association2003
Davis, Birnbaum, Marcou, Seymour & Colgan, LLP, La Crosse2002
Bell, Gierhart, & Moore SC, Madison2001
Robinson, Peterson, Berk & Cross, LLP, Appleton2000
Angel & Angel, S.C., Dodgeville1999
Murphy & Desmond, Madison1998
Glenn, Hoff, Hoff & Lambert SC, Appleton1997
La Crosse County Bar Association1996
Quarles & Brady LLP1995
Brown County Bar Association1994
DeWitt Porter, Madison1993