On September 11, 2012, the Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) honored Professor Michele LaVigne with the Pro Bono Service award.
LaVigne, Clinical Professor and Director of the Public Defender Project, was recognized for her commitment to improving the quality of justice for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. LaVigne developed a mock trial program at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf in Delavan, Wis. This joint program involved the Wisconsin School for the Deaf, the University of Wisconsin Law School and law firm Heller Ehrman White & Auliffe. In 2004, the team competed in the State Bar High School Mock Trial competition for the first time and placed sixth in the state semi-finals. LaVigne's research explores communicative, behavioral and legal implications of language impairments among populations frequently found in juvenile and criminal justice systems.
"Michele's unwavering focus on ensuring representation for the indigent community and her work for the deaf is inspiring. She is a wonderful example of how to give more to your community," says Dean Margaret Raymond.