Each year, the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers (WAAL, formerly known as the Wisconsin Association of Minority Attorneys “WAMA”) honors the professional career and community contributions of Attorneys Vel and W. Dale Phillips by awarding two scholarships in their names.
W. Dale Phillips practiced law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1950 until his death in 1988. He was local and state President of chapters of the NationalAssociation for the Advancement of Colored People, and an active member of the Black Lawyers' Association; the State Bar of Wisconsin; the Boys Club of America; and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. It is our hope that the scholarship will not only honor the contribution he made to the legal community, but also inspire future African American and other black attorneys to strive to emulate his commitment to the black community in the United States.
Vel Phillips practiced law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin until becoming a Distinguished Professor of law at Marquette Law School in 2002. In 1951, she became the first African-American woman to earn a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. She was the first African-American and first woman elected to the Milwaukee Common Council in 1956. She is the first African-American woman to serve as a state court judge. Phillips was also elected to statewide office as Secretary of State.
WAAL seeks to continue the legacy of W. Dale Phillips and other esteemed colleagues in our profession. Since the organization was founded, WAAL has maintained close ties to the black community. WAAL provides community service through the NAACP lawyer referral program and sponsors an annual Mock Trial Competition with central city high schools.
At its 2009 Annual Banquet, WAAL will award a scholarship to a law student who attends the University of Wisconsin Law School and a second scholarship of like amount to a student at Marquette University Law School.
To be considered for the scholarship, an applicant must:
- complete the application;
- have completed a full semester of law school and be returning for at least one more semester in the 2009/2010 school year;
- be in good academic standing at the law school at the time of submitting the application;
- sign an authorization permitting the Scholarship Committee to confirm your status with the law school;
- provide three copies of the application;
- be black or of African-American descent;
- be committed to the goals of WAAL as exemplified by the life and dedication of W. Dale Phillips.
- The postmark deadline is Monday, February 23, 2009. Additional instructions are included in the application. Download the application at law.wisc.edu/career/newsletters/attachments/waal-scholarshipapp2009.pdf
If you have any questions, please contact Leonard E. Martin, WAAL Scholarship Chairperson at 414-559-1140.
Submitted by Career Services/Student Services Weekly Newsletter on January 22, 2009