This Bench and Bar Committee brings together judges and attorneys to discuss key issues facing the legal system. The committee studies the organization, operation and general administration of Wisconsin courts, including practice and procedure issues.
This Board of Bar Examiners Review Committee works with the Wisconsin Supreme Court's Board of Bar Examiners to:
- review procedures for bar admissions
- monitor compliance with Wisconsin's continuing legal education (CLE) requirements
The State Bar established the Challenges for New Lawyers Task Force to gather information, then make recommendations to the Board of Governors on how to help new lawyers when they enter the practice of law.
The Task Force gathers information on several topics, including:
- Employment challenges for new lawyers
- Economic challenges for new lawyers
- Debt obligations facing new lawyers
- Inventory existing resources/programs to assist new lawyers from the State Bar and other entities
- Other challenges unique to new lawyers
The Diversity Outreach Committee supports and encourages a diverse State Bar and a legal profession that respects and values its members’ differences. The committee focuses on issues arising from disability, ethnicity, gender, LGBT identity and race.
For more information on the committee's work, please contact Staff Liaison Sonabai Kanhai at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6181 or (608) 250-6181.
The Insurance and Member Benefits Committee is responsible for exploring possible insurance and member benefits for State Bar Members, making decisions on endorsing products, and contract review with agencies, companies and underwriters.
The committee provides a forum to the Bar to gain valuable input and direction from members on current and potential bar insurance and affinity products. The Committee assists the State Bar in strategic planning by identifying competitive challenges faced by attorneys. Committee members help staff to evaluate possible third-party solutions to these challenges that could be adopted by the State Bar to assist attorneys and their practices.
Some members of the committee have experience in the insurance industry or insurance law. Others have experience as consumers of the Bar’s member benefits and insurance plans.
The staff liaison to the committee is Cara Mavis. She would be happy to answer any questions or provide more information on the committee’s work. You can reach Cara toll free at 1-800-444-9404 ext. 6133 or direct at 608-250-6133.
This special committee is responsible for assuring the quality and growth of this program; will be the sounding board for the LOMAP coordinator, the voice to the Board of Governors, and will establish policies that will guide Practice411 staff in their mission to help lawyers manage their practices more efficiently and effectively.
This special committee oversees the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) and the volunteer Lawyer Hotline program.
Leadership development is a critical issue before the State Bar. The Leadership Development Committee's goal is to implement the approved leadership development plan that institutionalizes the importance of the continued existence of a strong state bar association.
This special committee identifies and develops ways to meet local and specialty bar needs, and coordinates the delivery of existing State Bar services to these organizations.
Professionalism is conduct consistent with the highest ethical standards and which demonstrates character, competence, diligence, fairness, honesty, integrity, and respect for others and the rule of law. The State Bar Professionalism Committee focuses on issues of professionalism in contemporary legal practice and supports efforts to promote professionalism among Wisconsin attorneys.
The Public Education Committee was created in 2010, to better advance the State Bar of Wisconsin’s strategic goal of increasing the percentage of Wisconsin residents who understand the importance, value and relevancy of the law and the legal system. The committee is comprised of three former committees of the State Bar – Media Law, Public Image and Law-related Education. The focus of the Public Education Committee is to develop an array of educational outreach programs for students and adults designed to improve public awareness of the legal system and enhance the public perception of the legal profession.
The Resolution of Fee Disputes Committee oversees the State Bar of Wisconsin's Fee Arbitration Program. The State Bar of Wisconsin developed the program as an informal and economic alternative to litigation for lawyers and clients who are unable to agree upon a fee charged for legal services. To request fee arbitration services, complete the fee arbitration application.
While the matter has been addressed by the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Legislature in the past ten years, the unauthorized practice of law remains a serious threat to the public and the profession. It continues to be a matter of great concern to lawyers and citizens across the state. In July 2010, the Wisconsin Supreme Court granted the State Bar's petition to define the practice of law.
Not content to default on a growing problem nor defer to the Legislature, the Court exercised its inherent authority to define and regulate the practice of law in Wisconsin and adopted rules intended to protect the public from potential harm caused by the actions of non-lawyers engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. The Court, however, declined to establish enforcement authority or declare remedies to police unauthorized practice.
On January 1, 2011, Chapter 23 of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules (SCR 23) went into effect. SCR 23 applies to many non-lawyer practitioners engaged in the provision of legal services.
The WisLAP program was established on July 1, 1996, combining the Committee on Assistance for Lawyers and the Lawyers Concern for Lawyers Committee. Studies have found that lawyers experience a high rate of depression, chemical dependency and other psychological, behavioral and physical symptoms that may be related to the stress of practicing law. WisLAP was created to address these concerns. The WisLAP committee consists of State Bar members who are both knowledgeable and interested in the goals and objectives of this committee.
Within the scope provided by the Board of Governors of the State Bar, the committee sets policy for the program and develops and oversees its administration. Committee members discuss and work on many aspects of the program, including: developing a statewide network of trained WisLAP volunteers and professionals who provide support to attorneys in need of assistance; develop programs which work cooperatively with other legal entities such as OLR or BBE; address operational and marketing aspects of all WisLAP programs, and develop educational CLE presentations. This committee meets approximately every eight weeks.
The Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1981, is designed to provide reimbursement to clients who have incurred financial losses due to the dishonest conduct of their attorneys under Supreme Court Rule 12.04-12.12. Members of the State Bar of Wisconsin are assessed annual fees to finance the Fund. The amount of the assessment is determined by the Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection Committee each year, per Supreme Court Rule.