Our Student Ambassadors

Jose CastroJose Castro

Hometown: Woodbury, MN
Undergrad: University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Business Administration
Interests: Transactional business law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: jacastro@wisc.edu

"There are many opportunities to learn about the type of law that I want to practice, and it provides me with a great opportunity to get a job in that field once I graduate."

Read more about Jose

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I worked in Lincoln, Nebraska part time and tried to have a fun summer before starting school.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
How busy it can be. There are a lot of things to do in law school aside from just classes. However, after finishing my first year, it really is not as scary as I thought it was going to be.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.

I had the opportunity to work as a summer associate for Oppenheimer in Minneapolis, which was a great experience.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Student Bar Association, Latino Law Student Association, Wisconsin International Law Journal

Justin DreikosenJustin Dreikosen

Hometown: Sheboygan, WI
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin Madison, Psychology and Philosophy​
Interests: Family, employment and criminal law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: jdreikosen@wisc.edu

"Madison is about 2 hours from my hometown and I absolutely love this city. I didn't see a reason to leave!"

Read more about Justin

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I worked part-time in a bakery and part-time doing yard work for a retired professor.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I would have known that the people here are willing and eager to help further your legal education. I had it in my mind that law school was going to be filled with cut-throat "sharks"...and so I mostly shut myself off from my classmates my first semester. Not true! My classmates are some of the best people I've ever met!

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Sports and Entertainment Law Society

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
I worked in the Family Law Project of the Remington Center during my 1L summer and continue to work there during the year. The large amount of client interaction makes the clinical experience at Madison very unique. It also teaches you about managing the human component and human expectations in the face of the law.

Any other interesting facts about you? 

I am an avid Badgers fan and love to play sports. I am the captain of the Law School's ultimate frisbee team for the Dean's Cup, and enjoy running. Outside of sports, I play piano and love to travel to America's national parks.


Neal FitzgeraldNeal Fitzgerald

Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A. History
Interests: Constitutional Law, Legislative Drafting
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: nfitzgerald@wisc.edu

"I chose Wisconsin because I love the law-in-action approach and the variety of opportunities to take my legal education outside of the classroom. Also I missed Madison and wanted to come back."

Read more about Neal

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I spent a year working in sales after graduation and the summer before I tried to focus on spending as much time with my family as possible.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
Law school is not as scary as some people try to make it out to be. It requires a lot of focus and dedication but you are able to have a life outside of school. Also it never hurts to ask.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?
I am the President of the American Constitution Society and Treasurer of the Secular Law Student Society. I am also a member of both the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society and the Government and Legislative Law Clinic.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
I worked as a Law Clerk for Freedom from Religion Foundation and am currently a Legal Intern with the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau.

Any other interesting facts about you?
I wear bow ties every Thursday and I am a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Claudia HarkeClaudia Harke

Hometown: Appleton, WI
Undergrad: Tennessee Technical University, B.S. Economics
Interests: Sports Law, Labor and Employment Law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: charke@wisc.edu

"I chose UW for three reasons. First, its location in Madison, WI (no further elaboration needed). Second, since I am a sports fanatic, the Big Ten atmosphere. Third, the law-in-action program the school encompasses."

Read more about Claudia

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I came to law school right after undergrad. The summer before law school, I worked at School Specialty in Greenville, WI, as a Legal/Human Resources intern.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I knew the benefits of buying used law books for class. 1) You have notes from previous law students. 2) They are WAY cheaper.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am the VP of Community Affairs for SBA, the VP of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, a member of the Women's Law Students Association, a member of the Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law and Society and a small-group leader for 1Ls.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
During winter break of my 1L year, I interned at the Outagamie County District Attorney's Office. I originally thought I wanted to be a prosecutor and even though the DA's office was a great experience for me, I know now that is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. Currently, I am interning at the compliance office at the University of Wisconsin athletic department and I love it!

Any other interesting facts about you?
I was a Division 1 softball pitcher at Tennessee Technological University for 4 years. I have been teaching pitching lessons for 6 years and continue to teach middle school, high school and college-aged pitchers here in Madison and in Appleton.

Caitlin Holzem

Caitlin Holzem

Hometown: Neenah, WI
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Political Science
Interests: Civil Litigation
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: cholzem@wisc.edu

"I went to the University of Wisconsin- Madison undergrad and I couldn't leave! I really enjoy the campus and all of UW Law's professors."

Read more about Caitlin


What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I spent the summer abroad in Taiwan studying Mandarin and Chinese Painting.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I would have known more about how student journals and moot court/mock trial worked.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am in the Womens Law Student Association, Wisconsin Law Review, and Moot Court.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
uring my 1L summer I did the Consumer Law Clinic. It was a really interesting summer because we got to start working with clients right away.

Any other interesting facts about you?
I played on the UW Law School's summer Ultimate Frisbee team!

Stephanie KreagerStephanie Kreager

Hometown: Pleasant Prairie, WI
Undergrad: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Political Science, Sociology and Global Studies
Interests: Health Law, Public Policy, Food and Drug Law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: smkreager@wisc.edu

"I chose the University of Wisconsin Law School because of the Law in Action program, the nationally ranked clinics, and the Wisconsin diploma privilege."

Read more about Stephanie


What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I knew that law school was going to be difficult, so I spent the summer relaxing and traveling to see friends and family.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I would have known how different the structure of law school was from my previous undergraduate lectures and coursework.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Student Attorney for the Family Law Project, Treasurer of Middle Eastern Law Association, 2L Representative for Save the Animal Defense Fund, Community Outreach Chairwoman for the Childrens Justice Project, member of Wisconsin Agriculture and Food Law Society, Health Law Association, Women's Law Student Association and Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
I am currently working as a student attorney for the Family Law Project at the Frank J. Remington Center. The clinic has allowed me to apply what I learned in the classroom during my first year of law school to the real world.

Any other interesting facts about you?
I was a competitive figure skater for the University of Illinois' Synchronized Skating team.

Aissa Olivarez

Aissa Olivarez

Hometown: McAllen, TX
Undergrad: University of Texas - Austin, Government
Interests: Immigration Law, Criminal Law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: aolivarez@wisc.edu

"As a former elementary school teacher, I would always strive to use best practices in teaching my students and that meant providing them with opportunities to learn by doing. The clinics offered at UW Law provide this model and support students as they become hands-on with the law."

Read more about Aissa

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
The summer before I started law school I taught summer school for the Dual Language program in the Austin Independent School District and closed out my 4 years as a first grade teacher.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
One thing that I wish I knew ahead of time is that there is really no way to prepare yourself for what 1L year holds. No book can do it. It is important to enter with an open mind and be flexible in order to give yourself space to learn and grow as a new law student.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am involved with the Student Bar Association and this year I am serving as the Secretary of the Student Bar Council. I am also involved with the Latino/a Law Student Association where I serve as Vice-President of Community Affairs.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
While in law school I have had the great opportunity to be a part of the Immigrant Justice Clinic. Through this opportunity I have written briefs, motions, submitted forms to both DHS and the INS and worked with a local state court concerning post-conviction relief. In January I will have the opportunity to represent one of my clients in Immigration Court, located in Chicago, as we pursue relief from removal proceedings.

Any other interesting facts about you?
My hometown lies on the Mexican border at the most southern tip of Texas. I like to call myself an athlete, as I enjoy participating in a variety of races. I am also not only a law student, but a wife and a new mom.

Janelle RamselJanelle Ramsel

Hometown: Wauwatosa, WI
Undergrad: Valparaiso University
Grad School: University of Hawaii-Manoa, Masters of Education in Teaching
Interests: Public Defense
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact:  jramsel@wisc.edu

"I wish I knew how many opportunities there were to become involved with Wisconsin before even starting my admission!"

Read more about Janelle

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
Before coming to law school I taught 8th grade math and science with Teach for America.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

WLSA, Curriculum Committee, Unemployment Appeals Clinic, Immigration Law Clinic Volunteer, Tenant Resource Center Volunteer, Law school intramural soccer, and Posse Mentor.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
My 1L summer I worked in the Center for Patient Partnerships assisting individuals with life-changing diagnosis in finding remedies for their treatment in their health plans. My 2L summer I will be working in the public defender’s office in Washington, DC.

Any other interesting facts about you?
I have the great honor of holding a TA position with the Posse Foundation, and mentoring 11 undergraduate students from LA.

Kahini RanadeKahini Ranade

Hometown: Ridgefield, CT
Undergrad: Wellesley College, Political Science and French
Interests: Business law, property law, technology-related law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact:  kranade@wisc.edu

"It's a well-regarded law school, and the tuition made it a much better value for me than many similar schools. I was also excited about studying law in a state capital because there are certain opportunities, like judicial internships, that are much easier to take advantage of here."

Read more about Kahini

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I decided to study law after several years of working, so I was wrapping up my job for most of that summer. After I finished, I took a couple of weeks to go on a cross-country train trip, which was a really interesting and fun way to see the country.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admission process ahead of time?
< br/> If you balance it right, there actually is enough time to work hard and still enjoy yourself. I've met a lot of good people, I like my professors, and I think Madison is a fun place to be a student. Considering how tough law school can be, I've had a positive experience overall. < br/> What student organizations or activities are you involved in?
Moot Court, APALSA/SALSA, LLSA.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
I worked at the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic over the summer, which was interesting and rewarding work. It was a great chance to get direct client experience while collaborating with students and attorneys.

Any other interesting facts about you?
I like to try and get outside most of the year. There are lots of bike paths here, so it's easy for me to bike to school even though I don't live downtown. The Lakeshore path is especially pretty! I enjoy snowshoeing in winter, and in summer I like to kayak on the lake or go hiking at one of the nearby parks.

Sam RobinsSam Robins

Hometown: Rockville, MD
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Political Science
Interests: Litigation
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: sprobins@wisc.edu

"I thought the law-in-action approach would give me practical experience that would help me succeed after law school. I also love the city of Madison."

Read more about Sam


What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I took the summer off to relax and prepare for law school.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
That even though law school is a lot of work, Wisconsin provides a lot of resources to help you succeed and that taking advantage of those resources helps tremendously.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am a member of the Wisconsin Law Review, the Moot Court Board, and the Jewish Law Students Association.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
After my first year, I interned with the U.S. Attorney's Office in my home state, Maryland. It was an amazing opportunity that gave me the chance to work on both civil and criminal legal issues.

Any other interesting facts about you?
I am an avid soccer fan and love to cook and try new restaurants.

Caleb SaundersCaleb Saunders

Hometown: Menasha, WI
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin-Madison, History and Political Science
Interests: Criminal Law and Constitutional Law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: csaunders@wisc.edu

"I chose the University of Wisconsin Law School because of its practical law-in-action approach, the diverse and engaged faculty, and the fact that Madison is the greatest city in the country!"

Read more about Caleb

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I continued to work at a paper mill near my hometown, which oddly prepared me quite well for the rigor of law school.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
People tend to inflate how intimidating or daunting law school can be. If you are a hard worker and are able to keep a level head during the trouble times you will be fine And yes, it is possible to keep that hobby you enjoy doing, the sport you love playing, or those friends you enjoying hanging out with. Those things will keep the difficult times from being horrible, awful times.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am the Vice President of Public Service of the Student Bar Association. My responsibilities include planning the yearly Dean's Cup competition with the Medical School and coordinating the Middle School Mock Trial competition. I am also a member of the Wisconsin Law Review, the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, and the American Constitution Society.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
This past summer, I interned for a criminal court judge here in Dane County. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot about how the law is used in the real world.

Any other interesting facts about you?
I speak Japanese and have been to over 15 countries worldwide. I also have a semi-embarrassing obsession with late-Nineties boy band pop.

Jasmine TrimbleJasmine Trimble

Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama
Undergrad: Spelman College, English
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: jstrimble@wisc.edu

"Wisconsin has a reputation for being academically rigorous while culturally inviting. I knew that I would have an opportunity to not only take a wide array of classes , but also be given ample opportunities to develop practical lawyering skills through clinics and externships."

Read more about Jasmine

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
Prior to law school, I was an analyst for a large commercial real estate firm. After leaving the firm to attend law school I spent six-weeks at Georgia State Law school as a CLEO summer fellow.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
Never underestimate yourself. I was paralyzed by my LSAT score and did not apply to any of my dream schools or even schools that considered me a competitive candidate. Consequently, I applied later which limited the amount of scholarship money I was offered once I was accepted. Luckily because of my summer fellowship I had the fortune of being recruited by the University of Wisconsin. I'm so glad I was it has been a phenomenal experience.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am currently the Director of Community Service for BLSA, a student attorney in the UW Law and Entrepreneurship clinic, a member of the UW Mock Trial team, and a member of Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law and Society.

Any other interesting facts about you?
When I was 19 years old I started a non-profit organization focused on mentoring young girls in my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. I also love to travel, run, and host soirees for friends and family.


Loredana ValtierraLoredana Valtierra

Hometown: Joliet, IL
Undergrad: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Political Science
Interests: Immigration law, Education law and policy
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: lvaltierra@wisc.edu

"I chose Wisconsin because it’s a great public university in the Midwest, had the friendliest staff and faculty, the school’s reputation for welcoming diverse students and a major appeal was the opportunity to apply to an immigration clinic- an option many other schools did not have."

Read more about Loredana


What did you do the summer before you started law school?
After I packed up and moved out of North Carolina where I worked for two years, I relaxed by the pool, which was the best advice I received from current law students about how to spend the summer.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I had known the importance of reviewing material and notes at the end of every week. It’s easy to fall behind in doing that and makes outlining harder to do later in the semester if you didn’t fully understand material from the month before.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am involved with the Latino Law Student Association, am a Themis representative, a Contracts study group leader, a CASA volunteer and work in a clinic.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
I work in the Immigrant Justice Clinic where I work on deportation cases.

Any other interesting facts about you?
I am a die-hard White Sox fan, proud Illini and was (and always will be at heart) a teacher.

Tiffany WoelfelTiffany Woelfel

Hometown: Appleton, WI
Undergrad: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, International Business & Nonprofits
Interests: Litigation and Judicial Clerkships
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Contact: twoelfel@wisc.edu

"I chose UW for the law-in-action approach, the friendliness of the school, the city of Madison and the sports teams."

Read more about Tiffany

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I tried to relax and enjoy every minute of it. I drove around Wisconsin and Minnesota. I spent a week in Hawaii. I tried to read as many non-law books as I possibly could.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I knew to ask for several letters of recommendation (so you end up with at least 2) and to give them plenty of time to write their letters!

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons (LAIP), Moot Court, Law Review, Women's Law Student Association (WLSA), Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), Elder Law and Estate Planning Society (ELEPS), and Legal Assistance for Disaster Relief (LADR) (so many acronyms!)

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you've had while in law school.
I spent a week working for the New Orleans Public Defender through the LADR trip. I got to go to court and to jail to meet his clients with him.

Any other interesting facts about you?
I spent two years teaching in Mississippi before law school. Some people clean to procrastinate, I bake. I once had to help evacuate a building due to a WWII bomb scare. My favorite Green Bay Packer was "The Gravedigger" Gilbert Brown.

Log in to edit