Sept. 5, 2018 – Judge James Duvall, newly retired from Buffalo and Pepin county circuit courts, encourages lawyers seeking a new opportunity to participate in the Greater Wisconsin Initiative Bus Tour.
Each fall, the Greater Wisconsin Initiative Bus Tour takes lawyers and law students into the rural and small-town areas of Wisconsin.
It is a free opportunity for newer lawyers and 3L law students – and their spouses or significant others – to connect with local judges, attorneys, and community and business leaders, and to learn more about life and practice in western Wisconsin.
The Greater Wisconsin Initiative encourages attorneys to consider practicing in rural and small-town areas. The tour is a great way to explore whether a rural practice is right for you and provides you with the resources you need to get started.
2018 Bus Tour: Highlights of Western Wisconsin
Friday, Oct. 5
- Depart Madison
- Tour of Grant County Courthouse
- Potosi Brewery: Lunch, networking, optional brewery tour
- Dinner reception in Black River Falls
Saturday, Oct. 6
- Breakfast with local Judges in Trempealeau County
- Villa Belluzza in Pepin: Lunch, networking, optional winery tour
- Return to Madison
The 2018 tour takes place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6, and visits Crawford, Grant, Buffalo, Jackson, Pepin, and Trempealeau counties.
Before Judge Duvall retired and headed on to other adventures, he was instrumental in bringing the tour to the Seventh Judicial District of Wisconsin. “I’m a strong supporter of this program, and believe our community has a lot to offer newer lawyers,” Judge Duvall said.
Why Take the Tour?
There is a need for more lawyers in the rural and small-town communities of Wisconsin. Some areas of Wisconsin are experiencing the consequences of lawyer shortages. More than 60 percent of Wisconsin lawyers are located in the state’s three urban counties. On the other hand, a number of nonurban counties have fewer than 10 lawyers each. Many more counties have fewer than 20 lawyers.
Research shows when lawyers who practice in rural areas are asked why they made that decision, they highlight their autonomy and independence, the opportunities for leadership and involvement in the community, and a desire to be in an area that offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The tour was developed in response to the trend in Wisconsin and nationwide where aging lawyers in rural areas are transitioning out of practice without younger colleagues to replace them. “The bus tour is a great way to showcase opportunities around the state outside of Madison and Milwaukee, and encourage newer members of the profession to consider these options,” said Judge Richard Brown, retired chief judge, Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
What happens when a rural area no longer has a lawyer? Vital legal needs go unmet and access to justice is jeopardized.
What does this mean for you? Opportunities abound in rural Wisconsin to establish your practice.
The 2018 Tour – Sign Up by Sept. 21
The tour includes:
Round-trip bus transportation from Madison
Informational meet-and-greets with local judges, attorneys, and other business professionals
Lunch in Potosi on Friday and pizza with locals in Pepin on Saturday
Dinner reception with community leaders, attorneys, and judges in Black River Falls
Overnight stay in Black River Falls
Tour of the Grant County Courthouse
Plenty of time to network
Participants are encouraged to bring their spouses or partners along on the tour.
In addition, participants who complete the tour receive a coupon for 50-percent off tuition to the Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference, Oct. 25-27 in Wisconsin Dells.
To find out more and to sign up, visit the tour’s website on WisBar.org and complete the application by Sept. 21, 2018.