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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    December 09, 2021

    Your State Bar
    A Partnership in Service

    As an entity created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Larry Martin explains, the State Bar exists to serve three important audiences: the public, the court, and you, our members.

    Larry J. Martin

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is unique as compared to other professional associations in our state. Unlike other groups that exclusively serve their members, we have a broader mandate. As an entity created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, we exist to serve three important audiences: the public, the court system, and of course you, our members.

    Larry J. MartinLarry J. Martin is the executive director for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    As you know, the State Bar is established and the regulation of the State Bar is laid out in SCR chapter 10. From this flows two charges: promote public interest by maintaining high standards of conduct in the legal profession, and aid in the efficient administration of justice.

    We have worked hard to build a strong working partnership with our supreme court and court system. We have relied particularly heavily on this relationship during the past 20 months, as COVID-19 profoundly affected Wisconsin’s legal community. The State Bar and the Wisconsin Court System, under the leadership first of Chief Justice Patience Roggensack and now Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, as well as Director of State Courts Judge Randy Koschnick, worked together to quickly implement new technologies to facilitate the legal community’s continued service to the public.

    I am proud of the collective efforts of our elected leaders, volunteers, and staff during this time in safeguarding the welfare of members, helping them competently and effectively serve their clients, and supporting the Wisconsin court system. The State Bar has worked hard to fulfill its mission of delivering valued professional services, promoting access to justice, and pursuing professional excellence.

    We’ve done this by supporting the court system and the legal community to ensure the continued administration of justice, including communicating changes to court operations and continuing legal education rules for remote learning. We have also focused our WisLAP, Practice411 , and ethics services to ensure the profession’s vitality and well-being.

    We are continuously working to reinforce a sense of community by bringing the profession together for virtual learning and networking events. Online learning opportunities were ramped up, quickly transitioning from in-person to virtual learning to expedite members’ ability to use technology to learn, work, and serve their clients. In addition, we are connecting members and the public to resources and information that will help them through the challenges caused by the pandemic.

    Next June, when members gather for the State Bar’s Annual Meeting & Conference (AMC) in Lake Geneva, we will continue to build on our partnership. The AMC will include an extensive bench-bar component, with justices, key court personnel, and judges from across the state joining us for programming and for opportunities to connect and build community. Look for details this coming spring.

    One of the fundamental cornerstones to our mission and work is to aid the court. We will continue to focus our efforts to support the court, as well as the Office of Lawyer Regulation and the Board of Bar Examiners, as collectively we work to serve both the legal profession and the public.

    We have also focused our WisLAP, Practice411™, and ethics services to ensure the profession’s vitality and well-being.

    » Cite this article: 94 Wis. Law. 11 (December 2021).

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