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Marquette University Alumni Association

Law School Recipients

Howard B. Eisenberg Service Award

Dawn R. CaldartDAWN R. CALDART, LAW '01
Shorewood, Wis.

As executive director of the Milwaukee Justice Center, Dawn oversees efforts to provide free legal services to members of the community who are unable to afford an attorney.

She was inspired by Howard B. Eisenberg, the late former dean of the Law School.

“I had the privilege of having Dean Howard Eisenberg as a professor,” Dawn says. “For me, he was the model of what a lawyer should be and inspired me to ‘do well, and do good.’”

The MJC is a collaborative project among the Milwaukee Bar Association, Milwaukee County and Marquette Law School. Dawn manages all administrative functions of the center, working with the courts to implement MJC programs and recruiting volunteer attorneys, legal professionals and students.

“My work feeds my passion to do good,” she says. “The volunteer lawyers I work with help people that have nowhere else to turn when facing a critical legal problem. They help people resolve problems with shelter, health care, domestic violence and family stability. Their willingness to participate in innovative approaches to the delivery of legal services serves as a model for others in the legal profession.”

Dawn also led the formation of a Milwaukee chapter to raise money for Hope by Twelve, an international organization promoting educational opportunities for girls in Ethiopia. She and her husband, Tom, have two children whom they adopted from the country.

Hometown: Crown Point, Ind.
Favorite quote: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie