Northwestern Mutual Exec Describes Efforts to Improve Opportunities for Black Entrepreneurs

Posted on Categories Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Northwestern Mutual Exec Describes Efforts to Improve Opportunities for Black Entrepreneurs

Black people who have the potential to be successful entrepreneurs and business leaders have rarely reached that potential, given the impact of systemic racism, including the fact that few are in positions where they can take part in the networking that leads to so many opportunities.

Abim Kolawole thinks change can occur and steps being taken now will have positive impact. And he is in a major position to help that become so.

Kolawole, a top executive of Northwestern Mutual – he was recently named vice-president of “customer experience integration and promoting journey “ and was previously vice president of digital innovation — said during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program posted on Marquette Law School’s website on February 17, 2021, that there is a greater sense of urgency around creating opportunity in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020. Continue reading “Northwestern Mutual Exec Describes Efforts to Improve Opportunities for Black Entrepreneurs”

Election Reform Efforts Are Needed in Wisconsin, GOP Party Chair Says

Posted on Categories Election Law, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Election Reform Efforts Are Needed in Wisconsin, GOP Party Chair Says

The 2020 election is over, but the need for election reform continues, the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, Andrew Hitt, said during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program posted on Marquette Law School’s web site on Feb. 9, 2021.

So expect legislative action on that front and, given the likelihood of vetoes by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, new lawsuits and efforts to get the Wisconsin Election Commission to take more action regarding election rules, Hitt said.

But, Reid Ribble, who represented an area including Green Bay as a Republican member of the US House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017, took a different approach to the subject, suggesting it would be “a huge confidence boost for everyone” if legislators and the governor came together on a bipartisan plan for election integrity. Continue reading “Election Reform Efforts Are Needed in Wisconsin, GOP Party Chair Says”

Does News Media Coverage of the Supreme Court Emphasize Politics Too Much?

Posted on Categories Media & Journalism, Public, Speakers at Marquette, U.S. Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Does News Media Coverage of the Supreme Court Emphasize Politics Too Much?

What started as an informal lunch conversation has developed into a scholarly law journal article raising an important question: Is the coverage of the United State Supreme Court by the news media contributing to the public perception of the Court as an institution doing politicized work in an atmosphere emphasizing factions? Or, as the title of the article puts it, “Supreme Court Journalism: From Law to Spectacle?”

In an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program posted on Marquette Law School’s web site on Feb. 3, 2021, Christina Tilley, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, said the paper in the Washington & Lee Law Review does not answer the broad question. But it examines aspects of the matter.

Tilley told Gousha, the Law School’s distinguished fellow in law and public policy,  that she and her co-author, Barry Sullivan, a professor at Loyola University Chicago Law School, were talking one day several years ago, when Tilley was a faculty member at Loyola, about how headlines on Supreme Court stories seemed to be getting more “click-baity,” a term for language that attracts attention. Stories about the Court seemed to be emphasizing which president appointed justices and which faction of the court justices belonged to rather than issues and legal reasoning, they thought. Continue reading “Does News Media Coverage of the Supreme Court Emphasize Politics Too Much?”

Legal System Leaders Say Hard Work and Cooperation Have Showed Pros and Cons of Remote Court Operations

Posted on Categories Criminal Law & Process, Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Legal System Leaders Say Hard Work and Cooperation Have Showed Pros and Cons of Remote Court Operations

Yes, the justice system in Milwaukee County is likely to come out of the pandemic operating better than it was before.

Yes, a lot of lessons have been learned, and some of them will have lasting impact.

But no, operating remotely and under the constraints imposed by COVID-19 precautions is not such a great thing, overall, and a return to in-person work as the predominant way the system operates is needed.

Those answers provide a broad description of an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” discussion with four leaders in courts and criminal justice in Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee. The session was posted on the Marquette Law School web site on Jan. 22, 2021. Continue reading “Legal System Leaders Say Hard Work and Cooperation Have Showed Pros and Cons of Remote Court Operations”

Hostad and Abston: Aiming to Light Up Milwaukee

Posted on Categories Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Hostad and Abston: Aiming to Light Up Milwaukee

Mike Hostad and Ian Abston want to light up Milwaukee and its future.

One way that is so is literal. The two led the Light the Hoan project that, after five years of tenacious effort, brought multi-colored, frequently-changing lighting patterns to the Hoan Bridge at the mouth of Milwaukee’s harbor. The effort was sometimes criticized, but, once the lights went up in 2020, the project was a big hit.

Another way that is so is less literal: The two are leading a new effort called Forward 48 that recruits groups of 48 professionals between ages 25 and 35 and provides them training led by major community figures in what it takes to be leaders.

Hostad and Abson talked about both efforts during an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program that was posted on Marquette Law School’s web site on Jan. 13, 2021. Continue reading “Hostad and Abston: Aiming to Light Up Milwaukee”

Moot Court Association Names Participants in the 2021 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition

Posted on Categories Appellate Advocacy, Legal Research, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public1 Comment on Moot Court Association Names Participants in the 2021 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition

The Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition is the appellate moot court competition for Marquette law students and is the capstone event of the intramural moot court program. Students are invited to participate based on their top performance in the fall Appellate Writing and Advocacy course at the Law School.

Congratulations to the participants in the 2021 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:

Olanrewaju (Lanre) Abiola
Lauren Brasington
Carsyn Bushman
Zach Caley
Alexandra (Sasha) Chepov
Ashleigh Dickey
Ben Edelstein
Laura Federico
Jack Flack
Kyle Frank
Charlie Hoffmann
Rebecca Klongland
Josh Kundert
Kevin Landgraf
Josh Le Noble
Alex Lux
Morgan Minter
Natalie Mulvey
Greg Procopio
Matt Rademacher
Thomas Sucevic
Christopher Vandeventer
Taylor Van Zeeland
Zak Wroblewski

The Jenkins preliminary rounds begin March 20, 2021, with the winning teams progressing through the quarterfinals, then semifinals, to the final round. The final round will take place the week of April 5, 2021. All rounds will take place virtually. Stay tuned for more details.

Any questions about the competition should be directed to Kelsey Pelegrin, Associate Justice of Intramural Competitions.

Remembering Shirley S. Abrahamson: Wisconsin’s First Woman Supreme Court Justice

Posted on Categories Appellate Advocacy, Legal History, Legal Practice, Marquette Law School Poll, Moot Court, Public, Speakers at Marquette, Wisconsin Court System, Wisconsin Law & Legal System, Wisconsin Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Remembering Shirley S. Abrahamson: Wisconsin’s First Woman Supreme Court Justice
Shirley Abrahamson with raised right hand, taking oath in 1976.
Shirley Abrahamson is sworn into the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1976 by late Chief Justice Bruce Beilfuss.

On Saturday, December 19, former Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson, died after battling pancreatic cancer. She was 87. Just two ways she was like another famous, short, tough, trailblazing Jewish jurist: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Abrahamson, the daughter of Polish Jewish immigrants who arrived in the United States in the early 1930s, grew up in New York City. She graduated magna cum laude from NYU with her bachelor’s degree in 1953. Three years later, she graduated first in her class from Indiana Law School; she was also the only woman.

She met her husband Seymour in Indiana; they moved to Madison in the early 1960s, where Abrahamson earned her S.J.D. from UW Law in 1962. Thereafter, she became the first female lawyer at the Madison law firm La Follette, Sinykin, Doyle & Anderson. She was named a partner within a year. All throughout the time she was in practice, she also taught at UW Law.

In 1976, then-Governor Patrick Lucey appointed her to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’ she was the first woman to serve there. Continue reading “Remembering Shirley S. Abrahamson: Wisconsin’s First Woman Supreme Court Justice”

Remembering Chief Justice Abrahamson

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Judges & Judicial Process, Public, Wisconsin Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Remembering Chief Justice Abrahamson

A photo of Shirley Abrahamson[The following is a guest post from Daniel Suhr ’08, a prior guest alumni contributor to the Blog.]

While working as a junior lawyer in Governor Scott Walker’s office, my phone rang one clear winter’s day.  It was the judicial assistant for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.  The Chief had asked Dean Kearney if anyone else was traveling to that evening’s Hallows lecture from Madison, such that she could carpool. The Dean had kindly offered me up for the task. Could I meet her in an hour at the Capitol’s MLK Drive exit?

After quickly consenting, I rushed out to my Subaru Legacy and started grabbing granola bar wrappers off the floor. I ran to the BP on East Wash, which had a car wash, and did my best on short notice. I pulled into the Capitol’s covered roundabout five minutes early and retrieved my passenger.

She got in the front seat, and didn’t bring any reading material, so we just started chatting. Continue reading “Remembering Chief Justice Abrahamson”

The Worst Places in America

Posted on Categories Criminal Law & Process, Health Care, Human Rights, Labor & Employment Law, Poverty & Law, Prisoner Rights, PublicLeave a comment» on The Worst Places in America

person sitting in wheelchair in empty nursing home hallwayNumerous social commentators have noted how the pandemic has hit the least powerful and prosperous parts of the population the hardest.  Infections, hospitalizations, and deaths have been disproportionally high among the poor, people of color, recent immigrants, Native Americans, and the elderly.

The pandemic has also underscored the worst places to work and live, with the pejorative “worst” referring to the way certain places weigh heavily on the body, mind, and spirit.  These places are not only individualized but also organized into types and categories.  I nominate three types of places as the worst in the United States:  prisons, nursing homes, and food processing plants.

Media accounts have reported at length on how COVID-19 has ravaged prison populations, but prisons were undesirable places long before the virus arrived.  The nation has in general abandoned any commitment to rehabilitate inmates, and prisons have deteriorated into demeaning, dangerous warehouses.  Diseases and medical problems are four to ten times as common as they are in the general population, and the Prison Policy Initiative and Wisconsin Department of Corrections estimate that 42% of the state’s inmates suffer from one or more mental illnesses.   According to the prominent sociologist Jonathan Simon, most of the nation considers prison inmates to be “toxic waste” of a human variety and thinks of the people who run the prisons as engaged in “waste management.”

Nursing homes have been the places in which 40% of COVID-19 fatalities have occurred, and some of the most excruciating pandemic scenes have involved distraught friends and relatives saying goodbye to confused and dying residents through tightly-sealed windows. Continue reading “The Worst Places in America”

Amy Lindner: Following Through on a Lesson in the Impact People Can Have

Posted on Categories Milwaukee, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on Amy Lindner: Following Through on a Lesson in the Impact People Can Have

Between finishing college and starting law school, Amy Lindner spent a year working at an auto repair shop in Waukesha. She says she learned valuable things, beyond how her car works.

One lesson was that every job has dignity and deserves respect. Another was that, in dealing with customers, she saw that “the way we treat each other just makes such an impact.” A third: When she told customers what was done for their cars, why it was needed, and why it cost what they were being charged, she found that “just being clear and kind to people is something we all can do in all of our jobs.”

Those are lessons that serve her well in her current position as president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County.

In a virtual “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program posted on Marquette Law School’s web site on Wednesday (December 2), Lindner talked not only about her work in auto repair but about how the Milwaukee area as a whole has been affected by – and is responding to – people’s needs in his time of a pandemic. Continue reading “Amy Lindner: Following Through on a Lesson in the Impact People Can Have”

New Marquette Lawyer Magazine Goes Deep in Looking at Crime and Society

Posted on Categories Criminal Law & Process, Marquette Lawyer Magazine, Public, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on New Marquette Lawyer Magazine Goes Deep in Looking at Crime and Society

Slogans are appropriate, even useful, for rallies or marches. In-depth thought is what should be expected from law schools. The Fall 2020 issue of Marquette Lawyer magazine offers a weighty serving of the latter, while examining implications of the former.

With the overall title of “The Crime and Society Issue,” the new magazine’s cover package features three pieces focusing on assessing and potentially improving the criminal justice system, from the time of an arrest through the charging and court processes, and ways of sanctioning people who commit crimes. Each piece features expertise and insight presented at Eckstein Hall events by scholars from coast to coast.

The lead story starts with some of the controversial ideas heard during 2020, such as “defund the police,” and explores ways the justice system could be improved when it comes to the overall safety and stability of urban communities. “The Case for Careful but Big Change” focuses in large part on the ideas of Paul Butler, the Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown University, particularly as he presented them in Marquette Law School’s annual Boden Lecture and in an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program (last academic year, before the COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person programs at Eckstein Hall). Continue reading “New Marquette Lawyer Magazine Goes Deep in Looking at Crime and Society”

“Are You a Foreign Exchange Student?” and Other Microaggressions in the Legal Clinic

Posted on Categories Civil Rights, Human Rights, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Pro Bono, Public1 Comment on “Are You a Foreign Exchange Student?” and Other Microaggressions in the Legal Clinic

word cloud of words related to microaggressionsLast year, I watched as a law student was introduced to a lawyer volunteering at the legal clinic. The lawyer was a white man in his 60s. The student was a woman of color in her 20s, and she was wearing hijab. I happen to know that both people have hearts of gold and come to the legal clinic with a desire to help and to give their time and talents selflessly.

Nonetheless, upon being introduced, the lawyer’s first words to the law student were: “It’s nice to meet you. Are you a foreign exchange student?” The student looked confused and embarrassed as she replied, “No. I grew up here in Milwaukee.”

A similar incident happened recently when a white lawyer asked a student of color where he was born and whether he had voting privileges. Again, the student in question replied that he was born and raised in the United States.

Yet another time, a white lawyer sat down at a table with a student of color: “What can we help you with at the clinic today?” The underlying assumption was that the student must be a client.

I also remember a moment when a white lawyer worked with a Latinx student for an entire shift and remarked at the end, “You are so articulate.” Why would this be mentionable? This is a student who has a college degree, has been admitted to law school, and will have a law degree in a few years.

The same comments would not have been made to white students volunteering in the clinic. Continue reading ““Are You a Foreign Exchange Student?” and Other Microaggressions in the Legal Clinic”