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Appleton Paralegal Named Paralegal of the Year

Laurel Wirth has spent 30 years Helping Her Law Firm and Its Clients


January 13, 2017 (Madison) Appleton paralegal Laurel Wirth was awarded the first ever Paralegal of the Year Award by the Wisconsin Association for Justice. Wirth was presented the award on December 2, 2016 in Milwaukee.

Wirth was nominated for the award by her colleagues at the Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. Laurel began working at the Herrling Clark Law Firm in October 1986 and became a paralegal at the firm in 1992.

Attorney Kevin Lonergan, a past WAJ President, was among colleagues nominating Wirth for the award. He said, "The practice of law has changed significantly over the last 30 years, and Laurel has played a vital role in applying those changes to the everyday practice of law."

When presenting the award, Lonergan also detailed how Laurel's two battles with deadly forms of cancer showed her strength, toughness and resolve. He credited her personal experiences with improving her skills as a paralegal and enabling her to better connect with the firm's clients.

"Laurel's greatest strength lies in the empathy that she has for her clients...It is a rare occasion that when the file is closed, that the clients haven't given Laurel long and emotional hugs and talked about how much they were going to miss her guidance," Lonergan continued.

"I have had the good fortune to have a great deal of success in the practice of law, and have had the opportunity to be involved in leadership positions at WAJ, the State Bar, and the Herrling Clark Law Firm. I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that Laurel has played a significant role in those accomplishments," Lonergan concluded.

Laurel has worked to improve the legal profession beyond her law firm. She has been a member of the Wisconsin Association for Justice-Paralegal section since its inception.  She has been a program coordinator for WAJ seminars and has spoken at WAJ seminars on multiple occasions.

Laurel is active in her community as a volunteer and a leader.  She was a past Winnebago County 4H General Leader; past paralegal of Wisconsin member.  She is currently the Director of two boards at her church, Trinity Lutheran Church & School-Menasha.  She also volunteers at the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxillary at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Laurel has been married to her husband, Tim for 36 years.  She has two children, Nathaniel and his wife Ashley and Amanda and her husband, Jasen.  She is a happy Nana to Riley and another grandson is expected in January.

The award was presented at Wisconsin Association for Justice's annual Winter Meeting & Conference at the Pfister Hotel.  WAJ President Benjamin S. Wagner of Milwaukee and outgoing WAJ President Russell T. Golla of Stevens Point presided over the event.

The Wisconsin Association for Justice was founded in 1957. As the largest statewide voluntary bar association, it's mission is ensuring a fair and effective judicial system and the protection of the Constitutional right to a civil jury trial.

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