Candidate for President-elect
Dean R. Dietrich
Weld Riley S.C., Wausau
The State Bar president should be an ambassador for the State Bar and for the legal profession. I have spent many years of my career teaching lawyers about professional responsibility. This is a natural step for me to become an ambassador for the State Bar and an ambassador for the legal profession and lawyers throughout Wisconsin.
The practice of law is both a profession and a business. All lawyers need to appreciate those two aspects of the legal profession and find a proper balance between business pressures and being a professional. As an ambassador for the legal profession, I want to help lawyers find that balance and understand the impacts of both of those responsibilities as a lawyer in the State of Wisconsin.
Lawyers also need to give back to their community as part of their role as a professional. This can be done in many ways, and I want to work with the State Bar and lawyers to help lawyers understand the importance of giving back and the ways that lawyers can successfully do so.
The legal profession is facing a number of challenges as we work through the pandemic and face a new normal. The State Bar needs to be a leader in addressing many of the changes that we will face. The State Bar must focus on lawyer wellness in order to help our members continue to be successful in representing clients while taking care of themselves. The State Bar also needs to be a leader in improving the diversity and inclusion of others in the State Bar and in the profession. Our goal should be that the State Bar reflects the many diverse professionals that make up its membership. Many positive steps have been taken, but the State Bar must be ever diligent in pursuing its goals of inclusion. The State Bar also needs to foster a higher level of professionalism among lawyers. Many have come to think that being nasty to others and focusing on the negative is the way to effectively represent a client, but all this has done is discourage others from hiring a lawyer or using a lawyer. The State Bar must be diligent in reflecting the professionalism of the practice of law. I will continue to work to improve the efforts in these areas.
As a professional, lawyers must strive to foster availability of legal service for all. This is not an easy task, but we must continue to work hard to promote available legal services for everyone. We must continue to find ways to expand the availability of lawyers and legal services throughout the state. We must work hard to do more.
I acknowledge that these are important but also very challenging considerations. The State Bar president must be the advocate for these things but also be the ambassador for the Bar and for the profession of lawyering. I have had the opportunity to work with many stellar leaders over the years that understood the importance of these matters and served as an excellent example for how to be an ambassador for the profession. I will rely upon those experiences to make sure all lawyers understand and appreciate the importance of being a professional in everything they do.
Dean Dietrich is a shareholder and a member of Weld Riley's labor and employment section. His practice includes school law, municipal law, labor relations, employment law, and professional responsibility matters. Dean has over four decades of experience practicing law and has statewide recognition.
Dean has been a leader for more than 30 years in professional responsibility and ethics matters. Dean serves on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Committee on Professional Ethics and is a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. He has represented attorneys from throughout Wisconsin in proceedings before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin and the Office of Lawyer Regulation. He is called upon by other attorneys and law firms to provide expert opinions on professional responsibility matters as well. In addition, he has a monthly article in the State Bar’s
Wisconsin LawyerTM magazine.
In his practice, Dean has vast experience representing public and private sector employers in the various aspects of employment law and labor relations. Dean also has years of experience representing employers in collective bargaining and proceedings before state and federal administrative agencies. Dean represents school districts and local government units in all aspects of municipal law and compliance with state statutes.
Volunteer work also has important meaning for Dean from both a personal and professional perspective. In recognition of his volunteer work both locally and statewide, he was awarded with the Charles L. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award. This is the highest award given by the State Bar of Wisconsin and was done in recognition of Dean’s lifetime of service to the legal profession and community.
Dean earned his bachelor’s and Juris Doctorate degrees from Marquette University.