Rachel Wolfe Receives Barbara R. Levine Award

From the May 2023 Criminal Defense Newsletter
The Appellate Defender Commission presented MAACS roster attorney Rachel Wolfe with the 2022 Barbara R. Levine Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy. 

Named for the architect and first Administrator of MAACS, the award is presented annually to a roster attorney who demonstrates extraordinary commitment on behalf of appellate assigned clients and the criminal justice system.

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2014. After law school, she spent two years as a research attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals, followed by a year as judicial law clerk on the same court. Rachel then began practicing law, first at Flood Law PLLC, and then opening her own firm. She joined the MAACS roster in 2020.

Rachel is a committed MAACS roster attorney who firmly believes that success begins with and depends on a strong attorney-client relationship. She gets to know all of her clients immediately—even before having her hands on the lower court record—so she can understand what matters to them, and what they hope to accomplish with their appeals. She meets regularly with her clients throughout the representation, explains her legal strategies, and makes sure her clients fully understand and take ownership of the important decisions. 

Rachel also takes difficult assignments, including a substantial number of postconviction motions for relief from judgment, which can be especially challenging, time consuming, and difficult to assign. Rachel finds these cases professionally and personally satisfying—and has found meaningful success litigating them. 

Although Rachel has only been a MAACS roster attorney for a short time, her hard work and client-centered approach have paid off. She has won new trials, secured the release of postconviction clients many years after their convictions, and argued significant cases at the Michigan Supreme Court. She has developed an outstanding reputation for herself while helping raise the bar at MAACS and ensure that all indigent individuals receive high quality appellate representation.

Brad Hall, MAACS Administrator, and Patricia Maceroni, MAACS Deputy Administrator