Howard B. Eisenberg Service Award
Julie Johnson Darnieder, Law ’78
As an early organizer of the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics, Julie created a way for law students to serve the community and build on what they learn in the classroom. The clinics are just one of the many ways this top Milwaukee lawyer has served her community and her alma mater.
Even while building her private practice and her reputation as one of Wisconsin's top workers' compensation attorneys, Julie committed herself to serving others, often taking domestic violence and other cases from Legal Action of Wisconsin. Her community service has run the gamut from serving on the Civil Service Commission and Police Commission for the Village of Shorewood, Wis., to leadership roles in St. Robert Parish and St. Joan Antida High School. Julie has represented the Law School on the Marquette University Alumni Association Board. She and her husband, Mark Darnieder, Bus Ad '74, Law '78, have hosted class reunions at their home and supported fundraising for Eckstein Hall.
Julie retired from her practice in 2001. "Instead of falling into the relaxed routine of your average retiree, she followed her heart by finding a way to help the disadvantaged people of Wisconsin," says Julie's daughter, Bridget Malone, Arts '04. Her passion project became the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics, through which students and faculty provide basic legal advice and referrals on family law issues, landlord-tenant issues, employment matters and more to mostly lower-income clients representing themselves in legal disputes. Clinic volunteers served more than 4,300 people in 2017.
In 2013 the State Bar Association recognized Julie with a lifetime achievement award for her extensive pro bono work. She continues to work alongside student clinic volunteers and serve as the organization's advisory board chair.
Julie has even trained her rescue dog, Lucky, to be an animal for others. They offer pet assisted therapy at several locations. She has joined the board of Pets Helping People, a non-profit organization which provides training, placement and support for the pet therapy teams.
"It is simply the right thing to do, to share your talents," Julie says. "And, I meet wonderful, interesting people."
Fun fact: Julie met Mark when Professor Charles Clausen chose the two of them to draft a farm easement. They have three children, two of whom are Marquette alums.