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State Bar of Wisconsin History

At noon on Jan. 9, 1878, leading lawyers from across the state assembled in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Chambers in the old Capitol in Madison to found a statewide organization of lawyers — the Wisconsin Bar Association. In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the Wisconsin Lawyer, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s magazine, published a series of articles on the history of the organized bar in Wisconsin.

"From the Archives," provides historical snippets of Wisconsin’s legal profession published as part of a celebration of the Wisconsin Lawyer magazine’s 75th anniversary.

The founding of the Wisconsin State Bar Association, as it was first called, was reenacted in the chambers of the State Supreme Court as part of the 125th anniversary. Follow along Jan. 9, 2003, reenactment of the Wisconsin Bar Association's founding.

Attorney Philip S. Habermann, Madison, was the first full-time executive of the organized bar in Wisconsin, serving from 1948 through 1974. Attorney Habermann wrote his recollections in A History of the Organized Bar in Wisconsin.

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