Alumni National Awards

Law School Award Recipients


McChrystalKatherine McChrystal, Law '10


Serving at Marquette’s Volunteer Legal Clinics taught Kate how to handle the emotional responsibilities that come with being a lawyer. She now uses those skills to help clients navigate the difficulties of family law.

Kate is an attorney with Gagne, McChrystal, De Lorenzo and Burghardt LLC, a firm she co-founded in 2015.

“I meet a person when they are facing one of the scariest challenges of his or her life and I get to help them figure out a way to move through that experience and figure out a new normal,” she says. “Professionally, there is nothing better than seeing a client move from a place of sadness to a place of hope.”

Kate has been a volunteer with the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic-Family Law at the Milwaukee Justice Center since 2011 and is the former president and founding member of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin junior board. A former teacher, she also volunteers for the Highland Community School.

Her father, Michael, Law ’75, is a professor of law at Marquette — but her family ties to the Law School don’t end there.

“I had the pleasure of being hazed my entire 1L year by my husband (then-boyfriend), Jake Manian, Law ’07, brother Caz McChrystal, Law ’07, and sister-in-law Erin Manian, Arts ’02, Law ’07, who were all 3Ls at the time,” she says. “My husband’s grandfather, Vic Manian, attended the Law School while working full-time as a cop and graduated in 1960, then went on to be a prosecutor and a judge.”

Fun fact:
When Kate was in grade school, she wanted to be a cocktail waitress when she grew up because her family watched Cheers on TV. “I accomplished that career goal at 19, so it took me a while after that to figure out my life path,” she jokes.