2012 Govt. Lawyer of the Year

HARRISBURG (Nov. 15, 2012) - Dennis T. Guise of Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County, has been named the 2012 Government Lawyer of the Year by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Government Lawyers Committee.

The award, presented to Guise during a ceremony today at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg East, honors a government lawyer who has made a significant singular contribution or has dedicated his or her career to outstanding service to the profession for the benefit of the public or a government entity.

Guise has served as chief counsel for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs since March 2004. He is responsible for providing a wide variety of legal services, including those related to homeland security, the National Guard and veterans' homes and programs.

Guise graduated magna cum laude from Gettysburg College and was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). He earned his juris doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Following law school, he served in the U.S. Air Force as an assistant staff judge advocate for the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. He was then appointed as an instructor of civil law and editor of the Air Force Law Review at the Air Force Judge Advocate General School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

After completing active military service, Guise served concurrently as chief counsel for the Department of Military Affairs and the Fish and Boat Commission from 1978 to 1989. He later served as deputy executive director of the Fish and Board Commission and performed the duties of chief of staff, supervisor of executive office functions and chief counsel.

In 2003, Guise retired as the staff judge advocate for the Pennsylvania Air National Guard with the rank of colonel and received an honorary promotion to brigadier general. While serving as senior judge advocate, Guise helped develop the Pennsylvania Support for the Guard and Reserve legislative package that was enacted during the first Persian Gulf War and helped draft the legislation for the Educational Assistance Program.

In 2004, Guise played a leading role in drafting legislation leading to the Persian Gulf Veterans' Bonus program and worked with Pennsylvania's veterans groups to encourage voter approval of the bond issue to support the initiative.

In 2010, Guise was inducted into the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Hall of Fame, which recognizes unique and exemplary contributions to the department and/or to the Pennsylvania National Guard. Guise is a member of the PBA Charitable Organizations Committee, PBA Government Lawyers Committee and PBA Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Active in the community, Guise is a member of the Lower Paxton Township Planning Committee and director of the Ralph W. Abele Conservation Scholarship Fund, the Pennsylvania National Guard Scholarship Fund and the Pennsylvania National Guard Associations and the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association exists to promote justice, professional excellence and respect of the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 28,000 lawyers who are members of the association.