Jill M. Kastner

State Bar of Wisconsin

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Jill M. KastnerCandidate for President-elect

Jill M. Kastner

Legal Action of Wisconsin Inc, Milwaukee​
Email: com jmkastner gmail gmail jmkastner com

Platform Statement

I am honored to accept the nomination as a candidate for State Bar President-elect. I am committed to moving the State Bar forward to better serve its members, strengthen the profession, and improve access to justice.

Saying “yes” to State Bar leadership afforded me the opportunity to work with talented, dedicated lawyers from across the state and the country. Over the years, I have served as YLD president, on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee, and Chair of the Board of Governors. My focus has been leadership development, access to justice, and good fiscal management. I helped develop and chaired the first Young Lawyers Leadership Conference as well as the Leadership Summit to help train our next generation of State Bar leaders. Working with Foley and business partners, we started the Wisconsin Wills for Heroes program. For the past four years I served on the Strategic Planning Committee to help prioritize the State Bar’s activities, cut duplicative and non-priority programs, and do a cost-benefit analysis of each program.

I am passionate that the State Bar focus its limited resources on providing valued services to members and improving the administration of justice in Wisconsin. The Bar cannot be all things to all people. It must prioritize what it does, and do those few things well. To that end, I believe the State Bar must:

  • Continue to streamline programs to focus on the strategic priorities and ensure that each member gets the highest value for each dues dollar spent.
  • Utilize new technologies and legal innovations to help lawyers improve their practice.
  • Fight for adequate court and LSC funding as well as better pay for our government lawyers and public defender appointments.
  • Improve relations with the court by having regular meetings with our Supreme Court Justices and encouraging more judges to serve with lawyers on committees.
  • Increase access to justice by better use of technology, such as remote assistance, and improved resources to promote pro bono and civil legal services.
  • Continue the bus tour and other efforts to bring more lawyers to our rural and underserved communities.
  • Strengthen diversity and inclusion within the State Bar and throughout the profession.
  • Build upon the efforts of the Nonresident Lawyers Division Board to strengthen ties with our nonresident lawyers.
  • Promote leadership development of new and young lawyers so that they become skilled and dedicated leaders in the bar, the profession and their communities.

If elected, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the State Bar is a member-driven, member-focused organization dedicated to fulfilling its mission. I ask for your vote.

Biography

I joined Legal Action of Wisconsin in 2009 as a staff attorney. Serving those in need, particularly those who have served our great nation, is my passion. I currently run Legal Action’s Supportive Services for Veterans Families program, providing free representation to qualifying veterans. I was born and raised in Cedar Grove (Sheboygan County) and earned my undergraduate degree at UW-Oshkosh. I was the first in my family to go to law school, graduating from UCLA Law School. While practicing at Reinhart Boerner in Milwaukee, a friend asked me to join the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Board. I have been active in the State Bar ever since.

Professional/Bar Leadership

State Bar of Wisconsin

  • Board of Governors, 2011 to present
  • Chair, Board of Governors, 2015-2016
  • Executive Committee, 2011-12, 2013-2016, 2017 to present
  • Leadership Development Committee, 2010 to present
  • Strategic Planning Committee, 2013 to present
  • Young Lawyers Division
    • President (3-year progressive term), 2009-12
    • Board Member, 2006-12

American Bar Association

  • House of Delegates (WI), 2016 to present
  • Communications Director (YLD), 2010-2011
  • District Representative for Wisconsin and Minnesota, 2008 to 2010

Association for Women Lawyers

  • Co-Chair, Public Outreach Committee, 2014-16

Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association (MYLA)

  • President (3 year progressive term), 2008 to 2011

Education

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, Order of the Coif (2000)
University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, summa cum laude (1997)

Personal

I live in Glendale with JP, my husband of nearly 20 years, our two children Julia (15) and Jacob (13) and our golden retriever, Jaycie - yes, everyone has a “J” name. I am active in my local community, organizing our annual 4th of July parade and volunteering for community events. I am a Sunday School teacher and elder at North Shore Presbyterian Church. JP and I are avid hikers, completing more than 400 miles of the Ice Age Trail.​​​​

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