Raeshann D. Canady, Law ’04
For an attorney committed to serving the indigent, disadvantaged and at-risk, it’s heartwarming to be recognized by an award. Even more so if it is named for former Law School Dean Howard Eisenberg.
Raeshann Canady knows this man who answered every letter he received from a prisoner. Every one. Typed the letters himself, paid for the postage, never blurring the lines between this pro bono work and his role as dean of Marquette Law School.
When Howard died in 2002, his longtime administrative assistant publicly urged the legal community to carry on his work.
Raeshann, who was still in law school when he died, does just that.
After obtaining bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan, Raeshann returned to Milwaukee to help change her community. Believing a law degree would strengthen her advocacy skills, Raeshann completed law school part time at Marquette while working full time as a social worker.
“The program helped me tremendously because it allowed me to continue working in a profession I was deeply committed to while affording me the time to complete law school. Without the part-time program, I would not be an attorney today,” she says.
After graduation, Raeshann worked for a child welfare advocacy agency, overseeing a court-appointed program in which she supervised volunteer advocates for children in foster care. Then, motivated by Dean Eisenberg’s passionate commitment to criminal law, she became an assistant state public defender and has the challenging honor of working with some of the most impoverished litigants in our legal system.
Today, every day, she helps people by providing compassion and zealous advocacy, hoping to not only help her clients, but also to inspire future social workers and lawyers.