Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award

Each year, the New Lawyers Section presents the Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award to a promising new attorney. All licensed attorneys are eligible to submit a nomination.  To be eligible, a nominee must be a licensed attorney under 40 years of age or in practice less than 10 years who has shown outstanding dedication to the Wisconsin Association for Justice.  Consideration will also be given to the nominee’s pro bono work, community service, contributions to diversity, and professional achievement.   

Nomination Deadline: Nominations are accepted through September 30th each year.

Award Criteria:

The Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated strong commitment to the goals for which the Wisconsin Association for Justice was established:

  • Promotion of the administration of justice for the public good
  • Upholding the honor and dignity of the profession of law
  • Upholding the right of trial by jury
  • Preserving and enhancing the rights of persons to have access to the Courts and our system of justice, and to afford everyone a full, fair and timely remedy for wrongs done
  • Nominee cannot receive Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award and Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in the same year

This award recognizes a trial lawyer who has shown exceptional dedication to these goals, and has upheld them in various ways, including handling a case involving a significant change in the law or a precedent-setting suit, by their support of WAJ through work in the WAJ organization, pro-bono or other volunteerism that benefited injured consumers, or efforts designed to improve and preserve the American civil justice system.

Nominations Should Include the Following:​

  • Nominator contact information; nominee's current bio; contact information for current employer; a letter that describes nominee's achievements, independent letters of reference, relevant press clips and list of published work or other supporting material.

​Types of Nominations Accepted: Self-nomination, attorney nominations and/or peer nomination.

Judging Committee:  Past Three (3) chairs of the New Lawyer Section and Officer (Secretary).

Award Presentation Time and Location: Award will be presented as part of WAJ's Winter Seminar & Annual Meeting. Normally at 7:30 pm at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. Award will be presented by WAJ's President.

Awarded: The Award recipient receives an engraved keepsake.  

Number of Awards Each Year: WAJ will award one lawyer award each year.

Award Submission and Questions:

  • Contact Bryan Roessler of WAJ at 608-210-3390
  • Submit nominations to Bryan Roessler at bryan@wisjustice.org or by mail at 14 West Mifflin Street, Suite 207, Madison, WI 53703

Past Award Recipients:

2016: Peter M. Young, Rhinelander

Peter M. Young is a shareholder with Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C. and practices in the Wausau, Rhinelander, and Stevens Point offices. He has tried cases throughout Wisconsin and has been admitted pro hac vice in cases in California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, and Washington. 

He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned degrees in Legal 
Studies and Political Science. He earned his law degree from Marquette University Law School, and served as a Judicial Intern for the Honorable N. Patrick Crooks of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he started his legal career as a library clerk at Foley & Lardner’s Madison office. After graduating from the U.W., he worked for Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, and provided on-site trial support during a five month jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. During his first year of law school, he became a law clerk at Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C. in Milwaukee. After obtaining his law degree, he rose through the ranks from associate to partner.

He is the immediate Past-President of the Oneida-Vilas-Forest County Bar Association. In 2013, then Chief Justice Abrahamson appointed him to the District 16 OLR Investigative Committee. In 2016, current Chief Justice Roggensack selected him to serve on the Supreme Court Appointment and Selection Committee.

He has held various roles with WAJ over the years. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2012 and has been a member of the Amicus Curiae Committee since 2013, and has authored or co-authored several appellate briefs on behalf of WAJ. He was the Chair of the New Lawyers’ Section in 2012 and has presented numerous times at WAJ seminars, in addition to authoring and co-authoring articles for The Verdict.

Mr. Young lives in Wausau with his wife and children. In his spare time, he volunteers as a certified Outdoor Emergency Care Technician for the National Ski Patrol, and enjoys participating in many outdoor activities. When it comes to golf, he is the worst. 

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