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Marquette University Alumni Association

Law School Recipients

Alumnus of the Year Award

Patrick O. DunphyPATRICK O. DUNPHY, LAW '76

Nearly 30 years ago, Patrick co-founded Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. Today, it is one of the most successful personal injury law firms in Wisconsin.

A commitment to serving clients and maintaining ethical standards distinguishes Patrick’s work.

"My desire to see that justice is done regardless of the power and resources of my opponents drives me to outwork the opposition while maintaining the level of integrity and professionalism that my father would be proud of," he says.

Patrick’s father, Ward, was a graduate of the Law School who spent several years of his career as a member of the faculty.

"He instilled a sense of responsibility, reliability and ethical conduct in me," he says.

Patrick began his business with fellow alumnus Bill Cannon, Arts ’69, in 1985. Though the success of plaintiffs’ attorneys often is measured by the size of awards — and their firm has won three of the largest in state history — Patrick takes pride in cases that have changed a law or procedure to protect others, from the processing of tests for cervical cancer to the administration of medical information key to prisoners’ health.

Patrick is a member of the Law School advisory board. He was chairman of a $22 million-plus fundraising effort at Marquette University High School, is helping the Hunger Task Force develop fundraising plans for its farm and is on the board of directors for the Guest House of Milwaukee homeless shelter.

"A law degree was never valued as a method of personal financial gain but was viewed as imposing a responsibility to perform a service for others," he says.

Hometown: Milwaukee
Favorite book: "I have no favorite, but the top three are The Book Thief, Flag of our Fathers and Unbroken. Required reading for my law partners is Outliers."
Dream dinner guest: Robert F. Kennedy
Career he aspired to in grade school: "I have never considered being anything other than a lawyer."
Marquette legacy: "My father graduated from Marquette and Marquette Law School. My sister, Lynn Dunphy Schindler, graduated from Marquette. My brother, Rev. Richard Dunphy, S.J., graduated from Marquette with a master’s degree."