Law School Award Recipients
Howard B. Eisenberg Service Award
KRISTIN CIBIK OCCHETTI, LAW '07
Tenacity + kindness + love. That’s how Kristin defines her formula for success, and the Milwaukee community has benefited mightily from that spirit. As an associate at Quarles & Brady LLP, Kristin has donated hundreds of hours of pro bono service to a variety of organizations.
“Almost immediately after my graduation from Marquette Law School, I started doing pro bono work — which ‘infected’ me with the pro bono bug and undoubtedly launched my dedication to pro bono service,” she recalls. It began during a summer externship with the Legal Aid Society, where she was surprised to discover the significant demand for basic estate planning services.
“There is a very personal, human element in estate planning, and that is what I like best about the work that I do,” Kristin says. “I am a ‘counselor’ in the most defining sense because whether I am working with grieving spouses, rivaling siblings or parents of a special needs child, I often find that my clients like to talk about the non-legal aspects of their particular situation, not just the legal issues involved.”
After joining Quarles & Brady as an associate, she continued to volunteer with the Legal Aid Society and pioneered the Milwaukee Bar Association Pro Bono Hospice Program, which provides trust and will services to needy individuals in hospice. Now, she co-chairs the Children’s Hospital Pro Bono Guardianship Program and Milwaukee County Guardianship Assistance Program, which provides pro bono services to those seeking guardianship of children with special needs who are nearing age 18.
She also serves as the local chair for her firm’s community service initiative and has donated her services to the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic and Sojourner Family Peace Center Restraining Order Clinic.
“What I have learned from my time at Marquette,” says Kristin, “is that no matter what area of law you practice, there are always opportunities to assist those less fortunate than you.”