Zamir Abid points to his name on the sign welcoming new Wisconsin lawyers, following a swearing-in ceremony before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Visit the
State Bar’s Facebook page for more photos of this event.
Sept. 14, 2022 – These are among the 55 new Wisconsin lawyers, taking the final steps Sept. 13 in a ceremony before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, taking the Attorney’s Oath and signing the Wisconsin Supreme Court Roll book.
Jacquelynn B. Rothstein, director of the Board of Bar Examiners, said of the 116 who took the exam in July, 59% passed it, and that 66% of those taking the exam for the first time passed the exam. “The Board extends its congratulations to the men and women here today who passed the exam,” she said.
Messages from the Supreme Court
Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler welcomed the new Wisconsin lawyers. “The oath you just took is very important and encompasses the lawyers’ code of conduct.” She encouraged the new admittees to “jot down what is in your heart today” that inspired them to become lawyers, and to review that message periodically. “Be true to the person you want to be,” she advised.
Justice Rebecca Bradley, speaking during the ceremony, advised the new admittees to remember that “you won’t be able to right every wrong. But you can make a bad situation better” for those they help. “It is a privilege to be in a position to do these things” that can help others. “Don’t let your failures deter you from taking risks.”
Alexis Nash (center) poses with her family and friends following a swearing-in ceremony before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Nash is the first lawyer in her family.
New Wisconsin Lawyers: From Wisconsin and Beyond
New Wisconsin lawyers include:
Jade Klemmensen graduated in 2018 from Mitchell Hamline Law School. She handles trusts and estates for Eckberg Lammers, a firm with offices in Stillwater, Minnesota, and Hudson. Klemmensen, who’s from Wisconsin, said she took the Wisconsin bar exam at the suggestion of the firm’s managing partners, so she could work out of both offices.
Nathan W. Friedman was a prosecutor in Indiana for more than three decades, and just moved to Madison. His retirement includes part-time work with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
Seth Bichler (right), a new Wisconsin lawyer, poses with his father, attorney Howard Bichler, after the swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol in Madison on Sept. 13.
Zamir Abid, who grew up in Pakistan, said he went to law school because he was inspired by Pakistani lawyers who worked to unseat President Pervez Musharraf, a general who took power in a military coup in 1999 and suspended the constitution in 2007. “It started as a curious field but turned into a passion,” Abid said of his interest in the law.
Abid obtained a business degree from a university in Pakistan in the mid-2000s, when lawyers there were leading the effort to impeach Musharraf. Musharraf resigned in 2007 rather than face impeachment. “They overthrew him by dragging him to the court and arguing that you cannot simply come out and think that you’re the head of the army and you can do whatever you want,” Abid said. “That was very powerful.”
Abid graduated from law school in Pakistan, then moved to the U.S. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2021. Abid, who lives in Rockford, Ill., said he’s looking for a position in Janesville or Madison. He’d like to practice either criminal defense or personal injury law.
Keronten Ewings (right) with his mother, Takisha Ewings, share a hug after Keronten completed the long process in becoming a Wisconsin lawyer. Takisha live-streamed the moment for family and friends.
Berina Altshuler of Madison, is a 2022 graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis. She moved to Wisconsin to clerk for Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, where she is “getting a sample” of all types of law. “It’s a very good way to get exposure to diverse areas of law and see arguments from really well-practiced attorneys.” Before law school, Altshuler worked in local government in economic development. She realized with this experience that she could tackle the same problems from the legal perspective. “I’m excited to become an attorney today,” she said.
Seth Bichler, son of Wisconsin attorney Howard Bichler, is now a Wisconsin lawyer. Howard, now retired, represented Indian tribes and individual Native Americans in Wisconsin for around 40 years, and has served in multiple leadership positions with the State Bar over the past two decades. He is currently serving on the board of the Wisconsin Law Foundation.
Taking the Wisconsin Bar Exam was another way station on a long career journey for Seth. Initially, he knew he could become a lawyer due to his father’s example, but it was Ada Deer, of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin who taught in the School of Social Work at U.W. Madison, who ultimately inspired him to pursue law. “I was in her very last class, and she told me I’d be an idiot if I didn’t go to law school,” he said with a laugh. “Eventually I took her advice.”
Seth graduated from Oregon Law School in 2014, took a judicial clerkship in Alaska, then practiced law in Minnesota. In July, he took the bar exam to become a Wisconsin lawyer, and he now practices at Spears, Carlson and Coleman, S.C. in Washburn. “I do a lot of zoning and land use,” Bichler said. “We moved to Washburn to come home.”
Fifty-five lawyers and law school graduates took the oath to become Wisconsin lawyers on Sept. 13, in the Supreme Court Hearing Room in Madison.
Alexis Nash of Brown Deer probably “got bitten by the law bug” watching her mother work as a former criminal investigator with the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office, says her mother, Alice Belcher. “She made a decision that this is what she wanted to do,” Belcher said.
Nash has a Master’s Degree in business. After working in finance, she chose to go to law school. “She did it in the middle of COVID,” Belcher said. A 2021 graduate of Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Nash interned with Washington-Franklin Law Offices S.C. in Wauwatosa. “We’re very proud of her – she’s our first J.D. in the family,” her mom said.
Jeff M. Brown is a legal writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. He can be reached by email or by phone at (608) 250-6126.
Shannon Green is communications writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. She can be reached by
email or by phone at (608) 250-6135.
Keronten Ewings of Milwaukee is a 2022 Marquette University Law School graduate – and a U.W.-Madison alumni for his undergraduate degree. The journey included “a lot of long nights in law school,” with his 1L year being the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I lost a lot of family” to COVID, he said, and “going to class was difficult” in the middle of attending funerals. Many times, he admits, he thought about dropping out – but with the stalwart support of his mother, he persevered. “I learned perseverance in law school,” he said. “And I learned that I really did want to help people,” although that was not his initial reason to attend law school. “I learned I have a real soft spot for kids,” and is now a guardian ad litem with Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee.
Keronten attended admissions with his mom, Takisha Ewings, as a family of two (Keronten added that his family also includes a rescue terrier mix named Scrappy after the Scooby-Doo show). Takisha said her son “worked so hard, and he wanted to give up so many times, and we lost so many during COVID.”
That he is now a Wisconsin lawyer: “It’s a bubbly feeling in my gut that is the happiest feeling you could ever feel,” Takisha said.
Nicolette Jordee signs the Supreme Court Roll Book after the swearing-in ceremony. Signing the book is a long-standing tradition in Wisconsin and the final step in becoming a Wisconsin lawyer.
Welcome to these New Wisconsin Lawyers