Pro Bono Awards

State Bar of Wisconsin

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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. 



 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, Wausau 2016
Dera Johnson-Tracy, Madison 2015
Andrew Declerq, Madison 2014
Michael Lueder, Milwaukee 2013
Cody Wagner, Madison 2012
Michael Gengler, Monticello 2011
David Harth, Madison 2010
Mark Borns, Madison 2009
Gary King, Eau Claire 2008
Earl Munson, Madison 2007
Susan Jaskukski, Milwaukee 2006
Patrick Patterson, Fox Point 2006
Colleen Ball, Wauwatosa 2006
Katherine Perhach, Milwaukee 2005
Jessica Abbott, Brookfield 2005
Roy Froemming, Madison 2004
Sara Buscher, Appleton 2003
Timothy J. O’Brien, New Richmond 2003
Megan M. Rosborough, Stoddard 2002
Rachel A. Schneider, Milwaukee 2002
Donald A. Schoenfeld, Milwaukee 2001
James H. McDermott, Madison 2000
Howard Eisenberg, Milwaukee 1999
Maureen Feran Freedland, La Crosse 1999
Ernesto Romero, Milwaukee 1998
Tom Sleik, La Crosse 1997
Sonja A. Lee, Madison 1996
Stacy Gerber Ward, Milwaukee 1995
L. William Staudenmaier, Milwaukee 1995
Richard S. Gondik, Jr., Superior 1994
Joseph S. Neterval, Milwaukee 1993
Debra J. Procknow, Kenosha 1993
David B. Russell, LaCrosse 1993

Pro Bono Law Firm or Organization of the Year
Merchant & Gould 2016
Quarles & Brady LLP (Madison office) 2015
Gass Weber Mullins LLC 2014
UW Veterans Law Center 2013
Gennerman Mazzie-Briscoe Law Group, Madison 2010
Milwaukee Domestic Abuse Restraining Order Teams -
Quarles & Brady LLP, Reinhart; Boerner Van Deuren, S.C.;
& Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, S.C.
Heller Ehrman LLP, Madison 2007
Dane County Delivery of Legal Services Committee 2004
Winnebago County Bar Association 2003
Davis, Birnbaum, Marcou, Seymour & Colgan, LLP, La Crosse 2002
Bell, Gierhart, & Moore SC, Madison 2001
Robinson, Peterson, Berk & Cross, LLP, Appleton 2000
Angel & Angel, S.C., Dodgeville 1999
Murphy & Desmond, Madison 1998
Glenn, Hoff, Hoff & Lambert SC, Appleton 1997
La Crosse County Bar Association 1996
Quarles & Brady LLP 1995
Brown County Bar Association 1994
DeWitt Porter, Madison 1993

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