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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    February 09, 2021

    President's Message: Starting 2021 on Strong Ground

    In advancing its strategic goals, the State Bar continues to be a good steward of the organization’s resources while responding to the changing needs of members and the public during the pandemic.

    Kathleen A. Brost

    Each year, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Finance and Strategic Planning committees review every State Bar program to ensure that each program supports the State Bar’s priorities and that each activity is delivered cost-effectively. This comprehensive review aligns our financial and strategic plans. It also brings the Finance and Strategic Planning committees and staff together to discuss what we can do better.

    Kathy BrostKathy A. Brost, U.W. 1992, is president of the State Bar of Wisconsin. She works at Legacy Private Trust Co., Neenah.

    At the December 2020 meeting, I was amazed to discover the breadth of member and public services offered over the past year, many of which were in response to the pandemic. Here are some highlights.

    Dr. Jeneise Briggs, the State Bar’s new diversity and inclusion officer, leads the effort to find ways to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She works with staff and volunteers to ensure the State Bar is a diverse membership organization that welcomes and encourages involvement from all segments of the profession.

    We continue to increase our outreach to attorneys and prospective attorneys – starting with Mock Trial for high school students – but we need your help. Consider starting a Mock Trial team at your local high school. Or, mentor another attorney through ReadySetPractice; you only need six years’ experience to become a mentor.

    The Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) now has a Spanish-speaking service representative, resulting in more non-English-speaking referrals to lawyer-panelists. Sign up through March to get 50 percent off an LRIS panel membership. Bilingual attorneys are especially needed.

    The new online Pro Bono Portal makes it easy to volunteer for pro bono opportunities that fit your skills, interests, and time availability. Visit the portal for more information,

    The Solo & Small Firm Conference in October was a huge success, thanks in part to a virtual platform that provided attendees an experience that mimicked the in-person conference minus the cost of travel and hotel. Until we can return to meeting in person, experience the virtual Annual Meeting & Conference in June from the comfort of home.

    WisLawNOW, a new community of Wisconsin legal bloggers, brings together the best blogs to help members stay on top of legal developments.

    All CLE seminars have shifted completely online. This move to remote learning signaled the State Bar’s focus on moving PINNACLE books and forms to digital formats. The estate planning forms, in particular, have been very popular during the pandemic. The State Bar now offers PINNpoint enhanced course materials, a fast and easy way to learn about discrete legal topics through supplemented course materials from previously aired PINNACLE-produced webinars.

    Criminal justice reform is needed now more than ever. The State Bar’s grassroots Advocacy Network program helps members contact Wisconsin legislators about issues affecting the legal community, including but not limited to criminal justice reform.

    With health care premiums on the rise, more members turned to the State Bar’s new group health plan as a way to reduce costs. Learn more about it and all State Bar member benefits, services, and discounts at

    Access information on all of these items on And, follow the State Bar on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to keep current on all State Bar offerings.

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