Oct. 2, 2019 – At this time last year, I was on the Greater Wisconsin Initiative Bus Tour. I was involved with the Solo Small Firm General Practice Section board, and for years we had been looking for a good way to support the rural county bar associations, but all of our initiatives had come up short.
com kbrost lptrust Kathy Brost, U.W. 1992, is an attorney with Legacy Private Trust Company, Neenah. She is president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Reach her by com kbrost lptrust email.
So, I volunteered to ride along on the bus tour and give a CLE presentation as a way of supporting both the bus tour and rural county bar associations. Jill Kastner, who was president-elect at the time, joined the bus tour for the same reasons.
Needless to say, we had quite a bit of time to get to know each other over the course of the two-day bus ride. After chatting for a while, Jill asked me if I ever considered running for State Bar president. My immediate answer was “No, I had never considered it.” Her response was “Well, you should consider it.”
Frankly, I was up most of the night thinking about it – and the thought that kept running through my head was “Why would anyone vote for me?” I had never been elected to any position and for most of my involvement with the State Bar, I had been a solo practitioner who worked out of my home office.
But after giving it a lot of thought and talking to the current State Bar leadership, I finally said “Why not me?”
It was the best decision I could have made. I have not regretted it for a moment.
In fact, I sincerely wish that all attorneys, particularly young attorneys, could have the experience that I did during the presidential campaign. While political campaigns have become a series of ugly personal insults against the opponent, I am happy to say that the attorneys and judiciary of the State Bar have been incredibly supportive and collegial.
In fact, the comment that I heard the most on the campaign trail was simply “Thank you so much for running.” Even though the weather was less than desirable through much of the campaign, I truly enjoyed getting out to meet and talk with attorneys throughout the state. And being elected by your peers is just an incredible honor.
I highly recommend the experience.
Since that time, I have had the opportunity to talk to many past presidents of the State Bar. Almost all of them told me that it was one of the best experiences of their life, the high point of their career, and that they didn’t regret it for a moment.
So my advice to all of you is the same that Jill Kastner’s advice was to me: “Have you ever considered running for State Bar president-elect?” Or treasurer, secretary, judicial council, board of governors, or some other State Bar or county bar position?
If not, you should consider it. You won’t regret it.
Nominations Accepted Through Oct. 31
The positions for the 2020-21 State Bar officers are president-elect, secretary, and Judicial Council representative. You can also submit a petition for a district positon on the State Bar’s Board of Governors. Persons elected take office July 1, 2020.
If you are interested in nominating yourself (which is a perfectly acceptable practice), or nominating someone else to run for State Bar office, com kbrost lptrust please email me at or call me at (920) 967-5074. You may also contact any of the members of the Nominating Committee: Michelle Behnke, Grant Birtch, Laura Skilton Verhoff, and Josh Kindkeppel.
- Oct. 31 – Deadline for officer nominations to Nomination Committee
- March 1 – Deadline for Board of Governors’ petitions
Find out about other State Bar leadership opportunities through divisions, sections, and committees.