Young” or “youngest” are words often used to describe Rebecca Hammock.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Marquette University at 19.
She became the youngest attorney to be licensed to practice in Wisconsin under the student practice rule at 20.
She earned her law degree from its law school at 22.
Hammock decided as a teenager that she wanted to be a lawyer. She wasn’t happy with the legal system regarding various issues that arose after her mother’s untimely death. Rather than complain about the system, Hammock vowed to work within it to improve it.
These days as a public defender, Hammock finds her work representing juveniles especially rewarding – showing them respect, and working tirelessly to improve their lives.
“I get to stand up for people, be a voice for them and help, which is what frustrated me about everything I went through,” she said. “We do a lot of CHIPs and JIPs cases, where the children haven’t done anything wrong. And with kids who are in trouble, we try to turn their lives around.”
Recently, in State v. Williams, Hammock successfully convinced the court to order a new trial when she presented substantial evidence that a key prosecution witness had lied.
What was your most useful law school course?
Constitutional Criminal law
What was your worst law school course?
Trusts and Estates, because I waited until the last semester of my last year, and by then, I didn’t have much of an attention span left for something that complicated.
If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you have done?
Teach. I still want to do that someday, after I get a few more years under my belt. We have a high turnover here, and except for my supervisor, I’ve been here the longest, after just 18 months. I’ve done a lot of just showing the other attorneys how things operate here.
What song is on heavy rotation on your iPod?
“Revolution” by the Beatles. It’s very political
What can you spend hours doing that’s not law-related?
I’m kind of a dork, but reading. I love my Kindle.
What is your most treasured possession?
I don’t think of him as a possession, but my dog, a 5-pound Chihuahua named “Bear.” He’s pretty tough for a little guy.
What is the first concert you went to?
My mom’s mom dragged me to Vince Gill when I was little.
Where would you like to live?
I went to Paris for a competition in law school, and I think I could live there, or New York City.
Who is your favorite writer?
I love Jodi Picoult. I saw her speak in Waukesha a couple of months ago. It was pretty awesome. Her books are usually about controversial issues that revolve around a lawsuit.
What are you craving right now?