Media Center


MADISON - Denise Schilling, a Legal Secretary in the Criminal Appeals Unit of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, recently was recognized by the Wisconsin Law Journal as an Unsung Hero for her work as a legal secretary.


Denise is a 38-year veteran of the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Legal Services Division. Denise began her career with the Department of Justice in 1970. Her interest in the law led her to study legal stenography at Madison Area Technical College. While there, Denise did some on-the-job training at the Department of Justice. It was this experience that led her to a career of public service that almost four decades later is still going strong.


"Denise is held in high regard by the unit attorneys and secretaries for her knowledge of court procedure, proofreading skills, and overall attention to detail," said Assistant Attorney General Margie Moeller who, along with Assistant Attorney General Sally Wellman, nominated Schilling for the award.


Secretaries in other units frequently call Denise for advice in preparing briefs at the state and federal level. New and experienced attorneys turn to her for questions about appellate procedure and grammar.


"The taxpayers hit a bonanza when Denise was hired in 1970, and we can't imagine any legal secretary more deserving of this honor," said Assistant Attorney General Sally Wellman.


For nearly two decades, Denise served as the Criminal Appeals Unit's lead secretary, often working long days and even weekends to catch up with the massive amount of filing generated by this area of the law.


"Denise is a dedicated professional who is committed to public service and who cares deeply about the work of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, " said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "She is deserving of this recognition."


Rochelle Breunig, a paralegal with the Wisconsin Department of Justice was nominated for the Unsung Hero Award in the paralegal category.


Rochelle has been a paralegal with the Department of Justice since 1998. In nominating Rochelle, former Assistant Attorney General Michael Bauer wrote "She is always professional, cheerful, organized, and super competent. She is the sole paralegal on a class-action lawsuit that has involved more than 150,000 documents and 60 witnesses (so far)."


"Denise and Rochelle's dedication to the people of Wisconsin exemplifies the commitment to excellence that we look for throughout the Department of Justice," said Van Hollen.