Diversity at Marquette Law: Accomplished Alumni

Chief Judge White, L'85 a 26-plus-year veteran of the state trial courts, was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2015 to lead the First Judicial District [Milwaukee County]. She is the county's first African-American and only the second female to serve as chief judge. Read her complete bio.

 In the true spirit of cura personalis, "care for the individual person," our alumni reach out to our students, offering advice, friendship, and perhaps even an internship or job. Alumni are frequent visitors to the Law School, attending events and volunteering their time. The Alumni Diversity Recruitment Committee prides itself on welcoming newly admitted students to the Marquette community via phone calls, texts, and emails to answer questions and concerns and to offer encouragement.

Each fall, the Law Alumni Association Board hosts an Alumni-Student Diversity Reception. Diverse Marquette lawyers, judges, and their community colleagues join together to welcome the incoming students as well as to reconnect with continuing students, faculty, and staff. This event annually brings together more than 100 people in the interest of networking and promoting of a diverse legal profession.

Of course, we are proud of our alumni and their notable achievements:

Leaders in Law

  • The late Mabel Watson Raimey was the first African-American woman to attend Marquette University Law School, enrolling in 1924.
  • The late Andrew Reneau, ’46, the grandson of slaves, was the first African-American family court commissioner in Milwaukee County.
  • Jose Olivieri, ’81, is a partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP and is a founding member and past president of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association.
  • Ulice Payne, Jr.,’82, was a member of the Marquette 1977 NCAA championship basketball team. He is former president and CEO of the Milwaukee Brewers (the first African-American CEO of a Major League Baseball franchise).
  • Steven DeVougas, '07, is General Counsel at Haywood Group, LLC and is the Past-President of the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers. He has also been named "40 under 40" by the Milwaukee Business Journal. 
  • Jason E. Kuwayama, L’07, is a shareholder at Godfrey & Kahn S.C., in the Banking and Financial Institutions Practice Group. He entered Marquette with the intention of practicing corporate law, and his career has flourished. Read his full profile to learn more. 

Alumni on the Bench

  • Honorable Janine P. Geske, ’75, is a retired Distinguished Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School and served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1993 to 1998. From 1981 to 1993, she was a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge.
  • Honorable James A. Wynn, Jr., ’79, has been a federal judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit since 2010. He formerly served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of North Carolina.
  • Honorable Carl Ashley,’83, is a judge of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Judge Ashley was the first African-American judge to be elected directly by the voters in the state without receiving a gubernatorial appointment.
  • Honorable Vivian Torres,’83, whose family escaped from Cuba in 1961, ran for election to the bench in Medina County, Texas, in 2002 and has served since January 2003. (Read more in the Marquette Lawyer.)
  • Honorable Frederick Rosa, ’84, is a judge in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
  • The Honorable Diane SSykes, ’84, has served on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 
  • Honorable M. Joseph Donald, ’88, was appointed to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in 1996 and continues to serve.
  • Honorable Annette Kingsland Ziegler, '89, is a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice. She was the first female Circuit Court Judge in Washington County, Wisconsin from 1997-2007.
  • Honorable Stephan M. Grochowski, ’90, is Supreme Court Chief Justice for the Menominee Nation Tribal Judiciary in Wisconsin.
  • Honorable Martha Holton Dimick, ’91, is a judge in the Fourth Judicial District of Hennepin County, Minnesota.
  • Honorable Derek C. Mosley, '95, has served the City of Milwaukee as a municipal court judge since 2002. Judge Mosley is renowned for his community involvement. Be sure to read his full profile.
  • Honorable Cynthia Davis, '06, has been a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge since 2016.  Prior to this she was an associate with Foley & Lardner LLP and then an assistant district attorney for Milwaukee County

Women in the Law

  • Phoebe Weaver Williams,’81, Associate Professor Emerita Marquette Law School, was the first African-American tenured professor at the Law School.
  • Maria Gonzalez Knavel, ’93, is a retired partner and health care lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP.
  • Kathleen Rinehart, ’93, is the ninth president of Cardinal Stritch University. She has served as the General Counsel and Secretary at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL, and continues to serve as a dispute resolution practitioner for colleges, universities and other non-profit organizations.
  • Kimberley Motley, ’03, is the first and only Westerner to litigate in Afghanistan’s Courts.   Be sure to check out her TED talk and click here to read her full biography.  
  • Nyea Sturman, ’03, co-founded the Orlando Magic’s legal services department and currently serves as its General Counsel.
  • Carol I-Ping Tsao, MD, '05, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the Medical College of Wisconsin.