Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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Hon. Patricia J. Gorence, Jour ’65, Law ‘77

Hon. Patricia Gorence


Judge Patricia J. Gorence is actively involved in the community and a leader in developing innovative legal solutions for the betterment of society.

A United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Pat is also known as a collaborator. In 2003, she worked with Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Carl Ashley to bring together local police chiefs, district and city attorneys, and judges and lawyers to establish the “Guidelines for the Review of Crimes and Ordinance Violations by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office and the Milwaukee County Communities,” which paved the way for consistent treatment of minor offenses throughout the county. For their work, the Wisconsin Law Journal named Pat, along with Judge Ashley, “Innovator of the Year” for their collaborative effort to ensure equal treatment under the law.

In the Milwaukee community, Pat is co-founder and steering committee member of Women’s Resource Day, a free one-day program for low-income women. For many years, she also served as board chair of the Bottomless Closet, which provides clothing to low-income women entering the workforce. She is also a longtime member of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Slovenian Arts Council.

Appointed to the national Advisory Group for United States Magistrate Judges. Pat also chairs the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Lawyer Dispute Resolution Committee, is vice chair of the Milwaukee Bar Association’s Community Relations Committee, and serves on other community boards and committees.

Among the many awards she has received for community involvement and legal excellence are the Milwaukee Bar Association’s Distinguished Service and Lawyer of the Year–Prosecutor awards, and the Wisconsin State Bar President’s Award of Excellence.

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