SPASH graduate appointed to Wisconsin Court of Appeals
By Kris Leonhardt
STEVENS POINT— Gov. Tony Evers has appointed Stevens Point Area Senior High graduate, Rachel A. Graham to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District IV.
A graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin Law School, Rachel is now a commercial litigator with the Quarles and Brady, LLP, and has clerked for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which Rachel’s mom Anne Graham said prompted a desire to become a judge.
“Ever since Rachel worked as a clerk in the State Supreme Court, I think she has had the desire to become a judge,” Anne said. “She told us that she spent a huge effort preparing her application and sought advice from many of her colleagues.
“Of the applicants, seven were chosen for interviews in the governor’s conference room. The governor gathered a dozen or so lawyers from around the state who interviewed each of the seven candidates. Rachel said she prepared as best she could for the interview trying to anticipate questions and thinking about her answers ahead of time.”
In the middle of preparing for a trial, Rachel explained to the staff person that she might not be immediately available if called. When the text came from the governor’s office while preparing witnesses for the trial, Rachel made arrangements and headed to meet the governor.
Backed by her experience representing clients in appellate courts and her awards for pro bono work defending the constitutional rights of incarcerated individuals, Rachel spent an hour meeting with the governor.
“As the meeting was about to wind up, she asked what the timetable might be,” Anne said. “The governor offered her the position on the spot and she accepted.
“I think one of the reasons she was selected over the other candidates is she puts in huge effort on anything she does. I am certain that she’ll do the same as she becomes an appeals court judge. She will be fair. She will be non partisan. The law will be her guide; her opinions will be well written and will explain her reasoning. She will have to stand for election in April.”
“Wisconsin deserves fair judges who respect the law and understand the people that come before them. Rachel A. Graham has the temperament, experience, and ability to do just that for the people of Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers said in a press release.
The appointment fills a vacancy created by retiring judge, Gary Sherman.
“I am humbled by the trust placed in me by Governor Tony Evers, and deeply grateful to my family and friends, colleagues, and teachers—many from Stevens Point—for their wisdom and guidance throughout the years,” Rachel said. “I look forward to serving the people of Wisconsin as a fair and independent judge.”