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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dotson

Judge Ramón Alvarado ’05

I type this with tears in my eyes.


They’re mostly droplets of gratitude that I had the immense pleasure of spending almost a decade of my life with Ramón. But I’ll admit that, today, some are droplets of sorrow, wishing he’d had just a little more time to enrich this world—and, selfishly, my life.


One day in December 2019, almost a year after he became a judge, Ramón forwarded me an email he received after court:


Hello Sir, I was in your court today and want to say you are the best judge I have seen or met until now. I rarely get citations but I really liked you and how you handled mine and other cases. I would like you to do my future citations if any at all and if that's possible please. Do let me know.


Along with the email, Ramón wrote to me:


This guy is planning on going on a crime spree because he likes me.


We laughed A LOT, but the person’s email epitomizes everything beautiful about Ramón. His compassion and charm were evident in everything he did—including how he handled citations, apparently.


Not long after Ramón died, two of his University of Wisconsin Law School classmates, Ricardo Estrada and Eugenia Podesta, reached out to express interest in creating a scholarship in Ramón’s honor (#judgepun). They spearheaded the idea, and together, with plenty of incessant pleas from me (#judgepun), we raised close to $15,000. We were still about $10,000 shy of endowing the scholarship at UW, but two anonymous donors stepped up to put us over the required $25,000 threshold.


Hence the announcement of the Ramón Alvarado Memorial Scholarship!


I had the privilege of helping to write this article, and you’ll find the link to contribute at the end. As the fund grows, more students will benefit. Bookmark the link and, when Ramón crosses your mind, this is a great way to keep his legacy alive.


I’m sending a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this possible. Ramón would be so humble about this in public but obnoxiously proud at home.


But, either way, I’m happy with the verdict. (You know I had to get one #judgepun more in!)



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