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Rotunda Report
  • Rotunda Report
    May 23, 2022

    Connecting Lawyers with Lawmakers

    Part of the State Bar's mission is to coordinate and amplify the voice of the legal profession to Wisconsin's legislature. One of the ways we achieve this is by holding meetings that help to build face-to-face relationships between area legislators and their attorney constituents.
    Lawmakers meeting with State Bar members in Kenosha.

    Lawmakers meeting with State Bar members in Kenosha. Pictured: Rep. McGuire (D - Kenosha), Rep. Ohnstad (D - Kenosha), Rep. Kerkman (R - Salem Lakes), and Sen. Wanggaard (R - Racine)

    May 23, 2022 – ​As the June 1 deadline to register candidacy for the 2022 Wisconsin legislature approaches, it’s worth pointing out that a historically large number of incumbents are retiring from office, leaving 30 open seats. Among these, two of Wisconsin’s twelve attorney-legislators are retiring, with the possibility of leaving only 10 attorneys in the 2023-2024 legislature.

    As the number of lawyer-legislators continues long-term downward trends, it’s more vital than ever for members of the legal profession—private and state attorneys, prosecutors and defenders—to engage with their lawmakers as constituents. To this end, the State Bar is continuing to facilitate advocacy meetings around the state to put those who write the law in touch with those who practice it. Two upcoming meetings will be held in Appleton and La Crosse help build a better relationship between the legal community and the legislature.

    On May 25, a State Bar Advocacy Network meeting will be held in La Crosse at Big Al’s Pizza with the help and support of the La Crosse County Bar Association. Lawmakers attending include Rep. Billings (D – La Crosse), Rep. Doyle (D – Onalaska and a State Bar member), and Rep. Oldenburg (R – Viroqua), who will share their perspectives on the recent legislative session, challenges and opportunities ahead, and the best ways for members of the State Bar to engage with their offices. You can register to attend the event by clicking here.

    On June 1, another State Bar Advocacy Network meeting will be held at Fratello’s Riverfront Restaurant in Appleton, co-hosted by the Outagamie and Winnebago County Bar Associations. Lawmakers attending include Sen. Cowles (R – Green Bay), Rep. Tusler (R – Harrison and State Bar member), Rep. Cabral-Guevara (R – Appleton), Rep. Murphy (R – Greenville) and Rep. Snodgrass (D – Appleton). Over a picturesque view of the Fox River, legislators will speak for a few minutes each, sharing their perspectives on legislation that impacts the legal profession, with time for members to ask questions and discuss topics that concern their practice, the courts, and issues that affect access to justice. You can register to attend this event by clicking here.

    The State Bar will continue to hold meetings around the state throughout the rest of the year, with a particular emphasis on reaching out to local and affinity bar associations to help prepare attorneys to engage in the upcoming legislative session. If you are interested in attending one of the meetings described above, or if you would like to have a meeting with the Government Relations and Grassroots team and your local bar, law firm, or a group of legal colleagues, reach out to Grassroots Coordinator Devin Martin at

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