State Bar of Wisconsin

P.O. Box 7158
Madison WI 53707-7158
Telephone: (608) 257-3838
Fax: (608) 257-5502


Established: 1878
Total Number of Members: 23,525
Membership is: Compulsory

Bar Profile:
The State Bar of Wisconsin was organized on January 9, 1878, as a voluntary association. After reorganization, the Wisconsin Bar opened its first full-time staffed office in 1948. In June 1956, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered the Bar to become an integrated bar. In February 1988, a federal court decision ruled unconstitutional the Wisconsin Supreme Court's requirement that all lawyers join the State Bar as a condition of practicing law in the state. Following that decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended enforcement of the mandatory membership rule. After the district court ruling was overturned, the State Bar Board of Governors petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court to return the Bar to unified status. Following a public hearing in March 1992, the Supreme Court ordered the mandatory membership requirement reinstated, effective July 1, 1992. The State Bar of Wisconsin currently has over 23,000 members.

The State Bar of Wisconsin offers a broad selection of continuing legal education seminars and publishes books, automatic supplements and forms to help lawyers practice as efficiently as possible. State Bar CLE books are available electronically through the Bar's online library Books UnBound. The State Bar also offers an ethics hotline, a law office management assistance program, a lawyer helpline and videotapes to help educate clients and staff. Public services offered by the State Bar include a business assistance program, fee arbitration, lawyer dispute resolution, lawyer referral and information service, pro bono activation, and law-related education.

The State Bar of Wisconsin has four divisions and 26 sections - common interest groups focusing on specific areas of law. These groups publish newsletters, meet at State Bar functions and serve as a valuable base of professional contacts. The State Bar also has 25 committees which work on a variety of issues and projects.

The Board of Governors meets five times a year and the Bar holds one convention each year; the annual convention.

Current Officers & Leadership

James C. Boll

James M. Brennan

Michael J. Remington

Margaret A. Hickey

Douglas W. Kammer


Continuing Legal Education Director
Bill Connors

Member Services Director
Mary Ruedinger

Public Affairs Director
Lisa Roys

Executive Director
George C. Brown

Publications Director
Joyce Hastings

Assistant Executive Director/Administration and Finance Director
Lynda Tanner

Information Technology Director
Derek Novotny

Marketing Director
Jan Wood