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In Honor of Vel Phillips

On April 17th, we lost a titan in the Wisconsin legal community. In life, and now in death, Vel Phillips served as a model of what an African-American lawyer can, and should be. She touched countless lives with her activism, public service, and spirit. Judge Phillips was living black history, serving as the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, the first woman and first African- American elected to the Common Council of Milwaukee, the first woman judge in Milwaukee County, the first African- American judge in Wisconsin, and the first woman and first African-American Secretary of State for the State of Wisconsin, and, all while being at the forefront of the civil rights movement.

WAAL is proud to have been able to honor Judge Phillips' legacy by providing a scholarship in her and her husband's name for almost thirty years. And we will continue to honor Judge Phillips' legacy by promoting diversity and inclusion in Wisconsin's legal community. Many of you would agree that if there was no Velvalea Rodgers "Vel" Phillips, there would be no us.

Rest in Peace,

Velvalea Rodgers "Vel" Phillips

(February 18, 1923 – April 17, 2018)

Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers
Located at P.O. Box 519 Milwaukee, WI 53201.
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