Class Notes


Bruce Kerr ’72 has retired from his law practice in northern California following a career at Oracle and Sun Microsystems, where he was assistant general counsel. Kerr was co-founder with fellow law student Marty Milgrim of the Commu­nity Law Office on the Madison campus, which started during the protests in 1971 and ran for many years, staffed by UW Law student volunteers and local attorney-supervisors. He continues his music and songwriting career as “Loose Bruce” Kerr.

Scott Hansen ’76 received the 2023 Judge Myron L. Gordon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, presented during its annual meeting at the Saint Kate Hotel on May 25, 2023. The award recognizes Hansen’s contributions to Milwaukee’s federal court bench and bar, his years of skillful, professional and strategic advocacy, and his mentorship of younger lawyers.



John H. Heide ’87 received the Brown County Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award in December 2022. Heide has been named as one of the Top 50 Wisconsin Super Lawyers every year since 2018. Effective January 2023, Heide retired from private prac­tice. He does provide mediation services for family law matters throughout the state. He also flies a Cessna Cardinal regularly and spends as much time with his grandchildren as possible.



Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Richard Radcliffe ’90 is the recipient of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s 2023 Judge of the Year Award. The award recognizes an outstanding circuit court judge who has improved the judicial system during the past year by their leadership in advancing the quality of justice, judicial education or innovative programs.

Headshot of F. John Podvin, Jr., a light-skinned, middle-aged male wearing a dark blue suit, a white shirt, and a bright red tie with patterns. He smiles at the camera while standing in front of blurred city scenery.
F. John Podvin Jr.

F. John Podvin Jr. ’91, Dallas partner of Otteson Shapiro, was named to Who’s Who Legal (WWL) Thought Leaders 2023 in two catego­ries: Global Banking Regula­tion Review and USA-Bank­ing-Regulatory. Podvin was also named to WWL’s Global Leader list in the area of Banking-Regulatory with a ranking of “Recommended.”




Headshot photo of April Faith-Slaker. She is a light-skinned woman with dark brown curly hair that is over her shoulders. She is wearing a black blazer with a black and white striped top. She smiles at the camera on a very nearly black background.
April Faith-Slaker

April Faith-Slaker ’07 was named by the city of Detroit to lead the Office of Eviction Defense as its executive director. Faith-Slaker has spent her entire career fighting for justice in the legal system, with a data-driven ap­proach. She most recently served as the associate director of the Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School.

Headshot photo of Kenechukwu Onyemaechi Okocha, a black man wearing a deep blue suit with bright white buttoned shirt and a dark red tie with white dots. He is smiling at the camera in front of a gray background.
Kenechukwu Onyemaechi Okocha

Kenechukwu Onyemaechi Okocha ’07 has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as judge for the District of Columbia Superior Court. Okocha has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colum­bia since 2011. He has been deputy chief for the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Division in that office since 2019. Okocha previously served as an assistant district attorney in the Dane County District Attor­ney’s Office from 2008-10.

Ashley Morse ’09 was named among Wisconsin’s most influential Black leaders by Madison365. Morse is a Rock County Circuit Court judge, the first Black woman to serve in that position.



Eric Hatchell ’11 was elevated to partner status with Foley & Lardner LLP in Feb­ruary 2023. Hatchell is a trial lawyer and member of the firm’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group. Hatchell’s practice focuses on complex litigation issues, and he has extensive experience counseling and representing clients in matters including trust, estate and probate litigation, in addition to sophisticated tax disputes. Hatchell also counsels clients on appellate-related aspects of litigation.

Ryan Nilsestuen ’12 was appointed to the Dane County Circuit Court-Branch 10 by Governor Tony Evers. The ap­pointment will fill a vacancy created by Judge Juan Colás’ retirement. Nilsest­uen has served as chief legal counsel for the Office of the Governor since 2019. During that time, Nilsestuen also served as the chair of the Pardon Advisory Board.

Amber Raffeet August ’13 was appoint­ed to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court by Governor Tony Evers in May 2023. She has been an assistant fami­ly court commissioner for Milwaukee County since August 2022, where she presides over family court proceedings. She has served as the president of the Wisconsin Association of African-Amer­ican Lawyers, as an executive committee member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors, and on the board of directors of the Community Immigration Law Center. She will complete a term ending July 31, 2024.

Frederic Behrens ’13 joined Cerity Partners LLC through a merger with Round Table Wealth Management, as a partner in the firm’s New York office. He is a member of the cross-border private client group, working significantly with U.S. expats, green-card holders and non- U.S. investors on complex tax, legal and investment issues. A significant portion of his client base are attorneys at large and global law firms.

Photo of Monica A. Mark, a light-skinned woman with light brown hair that is long and over one shoulder, wearing a dark blue blazer over a white and colorful patterned top. She stands in an office setting with arms crossed and smiling.
Monica A. Mark

Monica A. Mark ’13 was named one of Madison’s 40 Under 40 by In Business Magazine. Mark is a shareholder in Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.’s litiga-tion practice, where she is part of the intellectual property team and active in appellate work.

Alexander Neuworth ’13 was elevated to partner status with Foley & Lardner LLP in February 2023. Neuworth is an in­tellectual property lawyer and a member of the firm’s Mechanical & Electrome­chanical Technologies Practice Group and Manufacturing Sector. Neuworth’s practice focuses on identifying and protecting his clients’ intellectual prop­erty by procuring foreign and domestic utility and design patents, managing their patent portfolios and providing counsel regarding patent risk mitigation in new product launches.

Kelly Hays ’19 was elected by Governor Tony Evers to serve as Langlade County District Attorney. The appointment fills a vacancy created by District Attorney Elizabeth Gebert’s resignation. Hays will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term that ends January 2025. Hays joined the Langlade County District Attorney’s Office in May 2019, where she is currently an assistant district attorney.


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