Marquette Law School Welcomes Anne Berleman Kearney
“Clinical programs play a key role in legal education. Students work in an authentic environment with supervision. The experience helps students build their legal skills and helps some students determine a career path,” says Anne Berleman Kearney, the new Director of Clinical Programs. She succeeds Professor Thomas Hammer, who retired in May 2023.
By learning through doing, students in internships and clinics gain an understanding of the importance of professionalism. Some of those professional lessons include: how to act in a legal environment, how to fulfill their responsibilities to a client, how to uphold ethical standards, and how to effectively communicate.
Kearney says “on the job” experiential learning offers students an opportunity to develop or refine skills in areas such as drafting and reviewing contracts, conducting legal research and analysis, writing internal legal documents, providing client advice, and engaging in litigation proceedings.
Experiential learning through internships and clinics complements what students have been introduced to inside the classroom. Through these experiences, students identify problems, think on their feet, and have clear and effective dialogue with many different constituents.
Kearney says she looks forward to continuing to help guide students through this formative experience. She hopes their takeaway is that being a lawyer is about helping people.
Her advice to students: “Participate in ‘hands on’ experiences more than once to get different perspectives. It’s important to be open to opportunities. Sometimes the ones you don’t even think will be interesting can be fulfilling and can reveal previously unknown possibilities.”
Kearney recalls her own clinical experience working with both the Public Defender’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office: “It makes what you’re learning more meaningful. It helps you make more sense of what you’re doing in the classroom.”
Kearney says she’s grateful to the legal community for providing this opportunity for students. “I want to thank law school alumni and those now associated with the law school as supervising attorneys in various fields who are part of this program. It wouldn’t happen without them. This program was organized 20 years ago by Professor Hammer, and through the years, has become an extraordinary program.”
Kearney was appointed adjunct professor of law by Dean Howard B. Eisenberg in 1999. Her courses have included Civil Pretrial Practice, Legal Writing I and II, and Appellate Writing and Advocacy. During her time in Milwaukee, Kearney has served as senior counsel at Foley & Lardner, deputy corporation counsel for Milwaukee County, and principal of Appellate Consulting Group. She also has engaged in extensive pro bono work and community service. She previously was assistant corporation counsel (in the Appeals Division) for the City of Chicago, an adjunct faculty member teaching legal writing at Loyola Chicago School of Law, an associate with Sachnoff & Weaver (now part of Reed Smith) in Chicago, and a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Nicholas J. Bua (N.D. Ill.)