Press Release: News Release January 2003: State Bar of Wisconsin celebrates 125 years of service:

State Bar of Wisconsin

Sign In

News & Pubs Search

  • Press Release

    News Release January 2003: State Bar of Wisconsin celebrates 125 years of service

    Share This:
    For Immediate Release
      CONTACT: Jason Westphal
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (800) 444-9404, ext. 6077
    org jwestphal wisbar wisbar jwestphal org

    State Bar of Wisconsin celebrates 125 years of service
    Reenactment to mark anniversary of founding

    MADISON, January 9, 2003 - The State Bar of Wisconsin will commemorate its 125th anniversary on Thursday, January 9 with a historical reenactment of the founding of the State Bar. The production will take place in the Supreme Court hearing room of the State Capitol, and former State Bar President Steve Sorenson will lead the ensemble of performers. The noon performance will be open to the public, however seating will be limited.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a law license in Wisconsin. With more than 20,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out initiatives to educate the public about the legal system.

    At noon on Jan. 9, 1878, several hundred leading lawyers from across the state assembled in Madison to found the State Bar of Wisconsin. The meeting was called to order by Chief Justice Edward G. Ryan. In his remarks, the chief justice noted, "The bar, as a body, can only have the influence which properly belongs to it, on professional subjects, through an organization by which it can speak with one voice."

    From its humble beginnings in 1878, when 265 distinguished lawyers signed the original membership roll to the present, the State Bar of Wisconsin has been at the forefront of professional legal organizations nationally and is recognized as a leader in many areas, with a strong public-service orientation. It has made Chief Justice Ryan's remarks a reality, speaking on professional subjects with one voice for the legal community and the public it serves. Today, Wisconsin lawyers are proud to be seen as problem solvers who provide expert advice and serve their communities.

    The year 2003 marks several other important milestones in Wisconsin's legal history. This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the 25th anniversary of the Court of Appeals.