Marquette Law School Honors Rebeca López with Community Service Award
A call to service landed Rebeca López in law school. Now, 10 years after graduating, her alma mater has honored her for this community service.
Marquette University School of Law has announced its awards for 2022 and López has been named the recipient of the Howard B Eisenberg Service Award.
“I’m very grateful and very humbled,” López said in an interview on Monday. She said she doesn’t know who nominated her for the honor.
The award is named after the former dean of the law school, who died suddenly in 2002.
“He’s really focused his entire career on giving back to the community and being an important part of the community where you work and live,” López said.
López said his family is also dedicated to serving the community.
“I grew up in a family that gave back. I remember doing volunteer work as soon as I could walk,” she said. “That’s exactly what my parents did, and that’s what we did as a family. And it’s something that I continued to do throughout my career, before and after law school.
After graduating from Marquette University in 2004, López worked for six years in the office of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, doing outreach and services to Latino voters, especially immigrants.
“I’ve worked in immigration and I’ve worked with families and helped them with their legal issues and they often needed a lawyer,” she said. “So I knew the law, I could help them cut through the red tape, but there were some things only a lawyer could do for them. And that was really something that I wanted to be able to help them through their process. And that is what prevented me from representing them throughout their journey.
She has worked with immigration attorneys across the state and learned to respect them and their work.
“I was really able to partner with them and help them cut through the red tape and I thought, ‘Wow, they’re really helping people. They are there to help people when needed. And that was so compelling to me. And so I kind of pulled myself together and barked back to school,” she said.
Now an attorney at Godfrey & Khan in Milwaukee, she still spends a lot of time giving back. She is president of Centro Legal, a nonprofit organization on the south side of Milwaukee that provides free or low-cost legal services in the areas of family law and criminal law for tort defense and representation. of a guardian ad litem to anyone in the greater Milwaukee area. She is vice president of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers’ Association and serves on the governance committee of the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. She also continues to do pro bono work and helps mentor and guide prospective law students.
“What really matters is what you do afterwards,” she often tells these students. “Are you helping to create community for others and keeping the door open? This is a wonderful opportunity to do all of these things.
Lopez will be honored at a reception on April 21. Other honorees include Almuna of the Year Christine Wilde Woleske, Lifetime Achievement Honoree Michael J. Gonring and Sports Law Alumnus of the Year Charles W. Mentkowski Andy J. Shiffman .