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About me

I was raised in both Wisconsin and North Carolina, which explains both my passion for Kringle and love of college hoops. I attended Earlham College (Richmond, Indiana) and North Carolina State University(Raleigh, North Carolina) for my undergraduate studies and earned my bachelor's degree from the latter. I was able to study briefly in Krasnodar, Russia, during a very exciting time as that country transitioned out of the cold war.

Along with my family's support and various forms of financial aid, I put myself through college and law school working a variety of jobs such as server, bartender, salesperson, organizational consultant, and as an improvisational comedian. This variety served me well; I learned about various occupations, the value of hard work and how to work smart because my time is valuable.

To complete my formal education, I attended law school at the University of North Carolina School of Law. During those years, I had numerous experiences that helped teach me what it means to be an attorney and an advocate for my clients. During my first summer and during the year, I had the privilege of clerking for my personal legal hero, Raymond Mason Taylor, Esq., of Raleigh, North Carolina. Mr. Taylor's decades of experience as a respected and successful attorney allowed him to be a mentor to me. His advice still sounds in my head on a nearly daily basis as I perform work for my clients today.

I spent my second law school summer at Pamlico Sound Legal Services. At Pamlico Sound, I assisted clients who were struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd with FEMA and state claims. The work was rewarding and challenging and I extended my internship well beyond the original agreement to continue working with the people of Eastern North Carolina to recover from the storm.

During law school, I also clerked for my criminal law professor, Arnold H. Loewy, and contributed research for his third edition of Criminal Law in a Nutshell (2003).

After three years of course work, participation in Moot Court, involvement in various volunteer activities, and a brief study abroad observing the institutions of the European Union, I was honored with my Juris Doctor in May 2001. â€¨â€¨I started my legal career as a staff attorney at the Indianapolis office of Indiana Legal Services, where I practiced consumer, family, and landlord-tenant law. This experience was invaluable. Because Legal Services provides free legal services to qualified individuals, the budget was not extensive. I was able to choose interesting cases and dive right in to practicing law whereas in a more traditional firm environment I might have been expected to spend more time observing or supporting more experienced attorneys.

I moved to Chicago in 2003 to take a job with a growing law firm specializing in consumer bankruptcy. I started by taking Chapter 7 and 13 cases and working with clients. Eventually, I managed the practice for Northern Indiana, with offices in Merrillville, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Elkhart, Indiana. Later, at the same firm, I was asked to train and manage a number of offices across the country. I have continued to work with attorneys and clients at my former firm. I have traveled across the United States and worked with people in Manhattan, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco and a variety of less exciting locations in between.

In 2010, I moved back to Wisconsin. I chose to live in Milwaukee because of family connections and because I simply love Wisconsin...even when it snows. Fueled by a desire to spend more time with clients and less time in airports, I opened the Law Offices of Deborah A. Stencel in summer 2011.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Chapter 7: 55%
    13 years, 2.5 thousand cases
  2. Chapter 13: 30%
    13 years, 500 cases
  3. Foreclosure: 12%
    15 years
  4. Debt Settlement: 3%
    13 years



Fixed (sometimes), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

15 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Alan Baker

    When a family member needed an attorney in Wisconsin I suggested Deb. She did a great job handling the matter. I would recommend her again to family members and friends.


    Alan Baker Car accident Attorney
    Relationship: Other

  • Christopher H. Ariano

    I recommend this Ms. Stencel because she has a very active presence in the Bankruptcy field. She has an especially high participation in helping Avvo askers by giving them solid, practical and honest advice. This is the type of advice that clients need when they hire a lawyer.


    Christopher Ariano DUI and DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Miller & Miller Law, LLC

735 W Wisconsin Ave
Ste 600
Milwaukee, WI, 53233-2413


WIGood Standing201103/27/2015
INInactive In Good Standing200108/08/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Client Distinction AwardMartindale-Hubbell2015
Milwaukee's Leading Lawyers, July 2015M Magazine2015
Milwaukee's Leading Lawyers, July 2014M Magazine2014
International Women's Day Honoree for Community LeadershipMary Kay2013
Milwaukee's Leading Lawyers, July 2013M: Milwaukee's Lifestyle Magazine2013
Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor SocietyWisconsin Access to Justice Commission2013
Milwaukee's Leading Lawyers, July 2012M: Milwaukee's Lifestyle Magazine2012
Certificate of Achievement for Pro Bono ServiceNorth Carolina Bar Association2001
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Attorney at Law, Sole ProprietorLaw Offices of Deborah A Stencel2011 - Present
Managing Attorney/Regional ManagerMacey & Aleman,P.C./Legal Helpers, P.C.2003 - 2011
Associate AttorneyIndiana Legal Services2001 - 2002
Association namePosition nameDuration
U.S. District Court, Western District of WisconsinMember2011 - Present
Phi Alpha DeltaN/A1999 - Present
U.S. District Court, Southern District of IndianaMemberN/A
U.S. District Court, Northern District of IndianaMemberN/A
U.S. District Court, Southern District of TexasMemberN/A
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of WisconsinMemberN/A
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy AttorneysN/A2006 - 2012
American Bar AssociationN/AN/A
Publication nameTitleDate
Stencel Law Bankruptcy BlogStencel Law Bankruptcy Blog2011
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of North Carolina School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2001
North Carolina State UniversityPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1997
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
In house continuing educationPlan Construction2012
In house continuing educationReaffirmation and Rescission in Chapter 72012
Consumer Bankruptcy from Start to FinishEverything you need to know about preparing for the 3412012
Consumer Bankruptcy from Start to FinishMeans Testing in Consumer Bankruptcy2012