Congratulations to WAAL Scholarship Winners Carson, Jordan, and Medcalf

On Thursday, September 22, 2022, the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers (WAAL) honored three Marquette University Law School students with scholarship awards.

VelanDale Scholarship
WAAL is proud to honor the career and legacy of the late Vel and Dale Phillips for the last thirty-two years. In 1990, WAAL established a scholarship in the name of the late W. Dale Phillips to provide scholarships to African-American law students at Wisconsin’s two law schools, Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin. In 2004, WAAL proudly renamed the scholarship the VelanDale Scholarship Award to include and honor Vel Phillips’ outstanding accomplishments. Vel Phillips passed away in 2018 and Dale in 1988, but their community work and legacy will forever live on. Each year, WAAL awards two law students from our law schools in Wisconsin with this honor.

This year’s award winners are Carolyn Carson (3L) and Josiah Jordan (2L).

head shot of dark-skinned woman with curly hair and a big smile, wearing a white shirt and black suit jacket
Carolyn Carson, 3L

Carolyn Carson is a 3L. She has been a Law Clerk at Stafford Rosenbaum since the sumnmer. Carson, who is interested in business law, is a member of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers (WAAL). She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University, where she double-majored in Communication and Spanish. She received her MBA from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; while there, she placed 1st at the International Ethics Case Competition.

Carson said her proudest professional moment was winning the Brewed Ideas Challenge, a Marquette University version of Shark Tank. Carson’s pitch was based on a haircare business she and her mother started called Nubian’s Way. (more…)

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Congratulations to AWL Scholarship Winners Bondar, Filali, and Gross

On Wednesday, September 7, the Milwaukee Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) Foundation honored three Marquette University Law School students with scholarships.

Head shot of a woman with long blonde hair; her name is Sarah Bondar
Sarah Bondar, 2L

Sarah Bondar, 2L, received the AWL Foundation scholarship. The AWL Foundation Scholarship is awarded to a woman who has exhibited service to others, diversity, compelling financial need, academic achievement, unique life experiences (such as overcoming obstacles to attend or continue law school), and advancement of women in the profession.

Bondar is a Wisconsin native and former law enforcement officer and 911 dispatcher. She wanted to attend law school to pursue her original dream of becoming a lawyer and helping victims of domestic violence. In addition to attending classes, working as a law clerk, and owning her own life coaching and event planning business, Bondar is actively involved in several student organizations. She’s the president of the Children and Family Law Association, president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society, director of communications for the Federal Practice Society, and Student Liaison for the State Bar of Wisconsin ADR Section. Bondar also volunteers with the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic as a Student Board Advisor. After she graduates, Bondar plans to practice for a few years, then open her own firm, focused primarily on family law.

head shot of a young woman with long dark brown hair; her name is Noelle-Nadia Filali
Noelle-Nadia Filali, 3L

Noelle-Nadia Filali, 3L, was awarded the Virginia A. Pomeroy scholarship. This scholarship honors the late Virginia A. Pomeroy, a former deputy state public defender and a past president of AWL. In addition to meeting the same criteria as for the AWL Foundation scholarship, the winner of this scholarship must also exhibit what the AWL Foundation calls “a special emphasis, through experience, employment, class work or clinical programs” in one of several particular areas: appellate practice, civil rights law, public interest law, public policy, public service, or service to the vulnerable or disadvantaged. (more…)

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Celebrating the Class of 2022—Old Traditions and New Elements

It was my privilege to be in the splendid courtroom of the Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday (Monday, May 23) to move the admission of Marquette law graduates to the bar. They graduated this past weekend, so such admission was their privilege, by virtue of receiving our diploma, meeting the court’s curricular requirements, and satisfying its character and fitness standards. In looking for a prior such motion that I had made, I came upon the one from 2015, where I noted…

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NMCC Moot Court Team Goes to Nationals

Please congratulate third-year law students Lauren Brasington and Carsyn Bushman for their success at the final rounds of the National Moot Court Competition (NMCC), co-hosted by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the New York City Bar Association and held virtually this year. The team was capably coached by Attorneys Kieran O’Day and Evan Thomsen.

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The Last Bastion

The United States, like most democracies, takes pride in being governed by the “rule of law”; it aspires to be what John Adams once called “a government of laws and not of men.” There’s a sense, in this imagery, that law is something distinct from human beings; that it’s a sort of machine, that operates autonomously to generate answers to legal questions.

Of course, as the legal realists recognized, that’s all transcendental nonsense. Laws do not apply themselves, they are written and interpreted and applied by human beings. But a rule of laws that is subject to the whims of individual decisionmakers is no rule at all. Believing in the rule of law requires a sort of leap of faith. It requires a form of trust that other actors in the system, even ordinary citizens, will generally coalesce around the same outcomes and interpretations.

And that sort of trust — any sort of trust in institutions, including law — is breaking down. Faith in courts to provide the law, and faith in lawyers to be able to say what the law is, will fade with it. And after that, in the words of Felix Frankfurter: “first chaos, then tyranny.” (more…)

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