Steven R. Sorenson receives Distinguished Service Award from Wisconsin Law Foundation

Steve R. Sorenson, adjunct professor of politics and government and a local Ripon attorney, has received the Wisconsin Law Foundation’s 2021 Charles L. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes a lifetime of service to the profession and the community.

An announcement published by the State Bar of Wisconsin says that after Sorenson graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1977, he worked in the Waukesha County District Attorney’s office, but soon moved to Ripon.

“I wanted to work in a small town, to help the local residents with their legal needs,” he said in the announcement.

“Over the past 36 years, he’s worked in Ripon as a solo and a small-firm attorney. Sorenson used his small-firm practice to help young lawyers launch their careers. He hired about 29 lawyers out of law school who are now practicing in east-central Wisconsin.

“While he considered himself a generalist, his focus included real estate, water law, and municipal law. ‘Every small-town lawyer has those as specialties,’ he said. He also has practiced in family and criminal law. ‘I’ve been through them all.’”

While he currently also works with a large law firm, “he still works from his Ripon home and remains active in his community. ‘I have now the best of both worlds as I look at it,’ he said.”

He has taught at local technical colleges and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh as well as at Ripon College. “I love to teach,” he says in the announcement. “It’s the way you give the message of what the legal system’s about. Give me a roomful of students and I can help them understand how the legal system is an important part of their lives. I teach them about respect for the law – and that if you don’t like it, you can change it.”


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