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Unsung Heroes of 2009

Additional Unsung Heroes – Award Winners

The auditing staff in the State Public Defender’s Assigned Counsel Division has the challenging task of reviewing the thousands of bills submitted for work done by private bar attorneys. They review each one to ensure that it complies with the agency’s rules and policies. When things don’t look right and cuts are made to bills, they have the unenviable task of contacting the lawyers to let them know about the changes.

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Paralegal of the Year

Jennifer Dahms has been interested in the law for a long time. As an undergraduate, she was a political science major with an emphasis in law. Although she put off going to law school, she got a job working as a receptionist at a law firm. She moved to another firm as a legal secretary, and then went on to another where she worked as a paralegal for more than three years. When the attorney she was working with came to Davis & Kuelthau SC three and one-half years ago, so did Dahms.

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Office Administrator of the Year

Back in 1992, Tracey Reams came to Melli Law as a legal assistant. She eventually became the firm’s bookkeeper, then became the firm’s office manager, handling administration, human resources, finances, marketing, IT oversight and facilities.

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Legal Secretary of the Year

For Arlette Johnson, it is not enough to do her own job well. She also wants to help other people do their jobs well. To that end, she has tried to help the new secretaries who have come to Michael Best & Friedrich during her three decades there.

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Legal Marketing Professional of the Year

When it comes to the Association for Women Lawyers, Dana Kader Robb is a jack-of-all-trades. And the AWL board’s nomination indicates she has mastered them all. Kader Robb’s multi-facetted role includes marketing and communications, teaching legal marketing to members, administration of the organization, maintaining the member database, light financial services, serving on AWL’s communications committee, coordinating events and managing archives.

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IT Specialist of the Year

When a computer hard drive crashed during the middle of a trial, a lawyer’s worst nightmare, Jim Desing worked through the night to fix the problem, and the litigation team was able to proceed with their presentation the following day. Foley Managing Partner Nancy Sennett says that tackling that job without complaint is just one example of his strong work ethic and attitude.

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Lifetime Achievement Award Winner – Diann Chapman

Diann Chapman Regional Office Administrator, State Public Defender’s Office, for Milwaukee and Madison Appellate Divisions Diann Chapman’s philosophy has always been “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” That approach has served her well during her 25 ...

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