2017 Howard B. Eisenberg Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Mike Gonring is a 1982 graduate of Marquette University Law School and a former partner at Quarles & Brady LLP. He retired in October of 2014 and went back to work in May of 2017 as the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee.
While with Quarles, Mike was a charter member of the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission and chairman of its Delivery of Legal Services Committee; a four-year chairman of the State Bar’s Legal Assistance Committee; a member of the Milwaukee Bar’s Legal Services to the Indigent Committee; a board member of Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic that is now housed in the United Community Center; the Mobile Legal Clinic operated by the Milwaukee Justice Center and Marquette and the Lawyer for a Day Program in Milwaukee County Domestic Violence Court. While retired, Mike worked weekly at the United Community Center Clinic. He also set up a clinic at the Mexican Consulate in Milwaukee to provide parental powers of attorney and financial powers of attorney for undocumented parents
and represented victims seeking domestic violence restraining orders.
He has personally represented pro bono clients in areas of domestic abuse, housing disputes, consumer rights, immigration, custody and child support, termination of parental rights, Hague Convention child abduction, prisoner rights, criminal appeals and the death penalty.
Mike has received the Milwaukee Bar Association’s Distinguished Service and Lawyer of the Year Awards; the State Bar’s Legal Innovator Awards; the Delivery of Legal Services Committee’s Lifetime Achievement Award; Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Career Achievement, Partner for Survival and Pro Bono Appreciation awards; the Seventh Circuit Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award; the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association’s Founder’s Award and the Legal Services Corporation’s Exceptional Service Award.