Wisconsin Lawyer: Inside the Bar:

State Bar of Wisconsin

Sign In
    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer

News & Pubs Search

Advanced

    Inside the Bar

    Long-time Member Relations and Public Services Director Betty Braden will retire in August. We'll miss our friend and colleague, and we'll honor her legacy by continuing to provide exceptional service to members.


    Share This:

    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 79, No. 8, August 2006

    Calling the Bar

    Long-time Member Relations and Public Services Director Betty Braden will retire in August. We'll miss our friend and colleague, and we'll honor her legacy by continuing to provide exceptional service to members.

    by George C. Brown,
    State Bar executive director

    George Brown

    WisBar and the Wisconsin Lawyer Directory help you locate appropriate staff to answer your questions about State Bar products, services, and programs.

    As I travel the state talking with members, I find their impressions of the State Bar range from it being an impenetrable bureaucracy that never responds to anyone's request to it being me, the executive director, and a part-time secretary trying to do it all. This issue was brought fresh to my mind recently by the chair of the State Bar Member Relations Committee when he asked some basic questions about calling the State Bar.

    If someone who has never called the State Bar Center were to call, what could he or she expect? How would the call be handled? Who would talk with her or him? What level of response could be expected? Is there a secret code to get to someone "in authority"?

    Here are some answers. The State Bar has two general lines. Our toll-free number is (800) 728-7788, our local number (608) 257-3838. Both will be answered by our customer service representatives, who have a goal of answering each call by the second ring. Sometimes they can help you directly, such as by taking product orders or registering you for a CLE seminar or providing information about member services and programs. If they can't answer your question, they will find someone who can.

    All staff have direct-in dial phone numbers. If you wish to talk to someone specifically but do not know their phone number or know the topic but not the person, you can find that information in two places. First, go to the State Bar Web site, www.wisbar.org, and click on the State Bar tab to open a dropdown menu on which you'll find the staff directory link. Staff information can be sorted by last name, topic, or department. Clicking on names sets up an email link or you can call staff directly. The other source is the Wisconsin Lawyer Directory, mailed every January to all members. The staff information for 2006 is on pages 561-63. But, since printed directory information can quickly become out of date, your best bet for current information is WisBar.

    Every staff member should have a telephone message giving their status and who to contact if you need immediate assistance. Many staff members attend various meetings or travel regularly, so they are not always available immediately, but everyone is expected to return telephone messages or emails within 24 hours unless they are on vacation or otherwise unable to return contacts.

    As to reaching someone in authority, just ask. You can call me or ask for me, but, to be honest, I don't have specific knowledge about the day-to-day workings of many of our dozens of committees, sections, divisions, programs, and projects. Your best choice for that information is to look up staff by topic on WisBar and call the appropriate person directly or call the general number and explain your needs. The department director is also a good choice if you need to move up the ladder.

    So there you have it. Give us a call.




To view or add comment, Login