Candidate for President-elect
Odalo J. Ohiku
Deputy City Attorney
Milwaukee Office of the City Attorney
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing and Jacob Blake’s shooting catapulting the Midwest and Wisconsin into the spotlight, our eyes have been pried open and our collective conscience has been roused. In this heightened state of awareness, it is time to act and be bold. I believe we must commit to having difficult conversations about race and how we can best confront the issues without demonizing each other. I believe we can work to end the false dichotomy of wanting reform without respect for the law. I believe we can be truthful, open, and honest with each other while at the same time believing that some things are simply undeniable.
I believe the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion in our legal profession is simply undeniable. If elected, I will work to achieve the goals delineated in the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan not only at the State Bar, but also throughout our profession.
I benefitted from the State Bar’s Diversity Clerkship Program (DCP) as a summer law clerk in 2000. Since 2015, I have participated as an employer for DCP clerks during the summer. I believe this program is invaluable and I will work to ensure it continues to flourish.
But diversity cannot end with the DCP. Diversity, equity, and inclusion must permeate our psyche, seep deep down into our essence, and remain at the forefront of our intentional efforts to eradicate both systemic and systematic racism, promote pay equity, and foster an inclusive work environment for all.
I believe in service. I believe we, as lawyers, are called to serve our communities. I have served our community by sponsoring an annual expungement clinic, hosting an annual backpack-to-school event (giving away free backpacks filled with school supplies), sponsoring an annual women’s expo, and speaking at countless Know Your Rights events. I have been a member of the Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society since 2015 and will continue honoring that commitment.
As a member of the Governor’s Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, I serve the people of Wisconsin by helping make recommendations to Gov. Tony Evers on whom should fill a judicial vacancy. This important work has undoubtedly helped diversify the bench.
As a member of your State Bar Board of Governors (BOG), I serve all of you. I had the honor and privilege of serving as BOG chair during the 2018-19 term. I also serve as BOG liaison to the Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee.
I have been a sole practitioner the vast majority of my legal career. I know the pain. I know the grind. I know the uncertainty that comes with being a solo. If elected, in me, you will have your elephant that never forgets. I will do all I can to continue finding ways to support you, including nurturing your mental health and increasing work-life balance.
If elected, I will be seen and heard doing the best I can to represent our profession throughout Wisconsin and beyond. I will be an involved and active State Bar president.;
I am happily married with two children. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, eating, and listening to live music. I remain active with the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund and Evans Scholars Foundation. I take delight in mentoring young minds curious about the legal profession, hoping to inspire the next generation of future lawyers.
Marquette University Law School (J.D., 2002)
Marquette University Grad School (M.A., Public Service, 2004)
Marquette University (B.A., Political Science/Criminology, 1999)
UW-Madison (Divorce and Family Mediation Training, 2013)
American Bar Association (Arbitration Training, 2016)
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court
American Bar Foundation – Fellow
Judicial Selection Advisory Committee
State Bar of Wisconsin
Board of Governors 2017 – present, Chair 2018-19
Committee on Policy
Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee
Fee Arbitration Program – Arbitrator
G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy – Graduate
President’s Award – 2019
Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers – Attorney of the Year 2019
Wisconsin Law Foundation – Fellow
Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society 2015 – present