Alumni National Awards

Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences
Award Recipients

A Person for Others Award

Patricia A. Brannan, Arts '75Patricia A. Brannan, Arts ’75
Silver Spring, Md.

A first-generation college student, Pat had never considered law school. But thanks to encouragement from Marquette's Jesuits, she went on to Harvard Law School and a career defined by advancing legal ethics and advocating for others.

Pat recalls that Rev. Virgil Blum, S.J., and Rev. Paul Weber, S.J., sat her down after she'd excelled in their classes involving the case law method. “They simply insisted that I take the LSAT and consider law school,” she says. “They were adamant.”

In 2017 Pat retired from a 37-year career at the law firm of Hogan Lovells US LLP. Her areas of leadership at the firm included the education practice and the pro bono practice, which increased its services nearly 70 percent during her years at the helm and won more than 50 honors and awards. After 10 years co-heading the legal ethics committee, Pat became the firm’s general counsel in 2012.

Pat served in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals lawyer discipline system and also chaired its board on professional responsibility. “Doing the right thing day to day in one’s professional life is technically, morally and personally challenging,” she notes. “The best paydays I ever had were those on which someone said I lightened their load on an issue that was keeping them awake at night.”

Pat’s personal pro bono work includes over a decade of advocacy to analyze and improve Washington, D.C.’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic; arguments in U.S. Supreme Court cases addressing voting rights and hate crimes; and support for a condemned Florida prisoner.

Her time at Marquette, she says, taught her that “Our ministry can be anywhere, and it is everywhere. … There will be chances every day to make ourselves and the people around us better.”

Fun fact: Pat and her husband, radio host and producer Robert Aubry Davis, have a keen interest in martyr St. Catherine of Alexandria and enjoy discovering her chapels and representations in art.