Legal Profession

Hon. Jeh Charles Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and ABA Task Force for American Democracy co-chair, speaks on “The Threat to Democracy.”

July 11, 2024 – A dozen speakers recently gave sobering presentations on the threat to democracy during a nonpartisan event from the American Bar Association’s Task Force for American Democracy, in partnership with the State Bar of Wisconsin.

The program, called
Wisconsin: Elections in the 21st Century (watch now) was held in-person July
Continue Reading American Bar Association Brings Democracy Listening Tour to Wisconsin

July 3, 2024 – The White House today announced that President Joe Biden will nominate Green Bay attorney Byron B. Conway to a vacant judicial seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Conway, who previously served on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors (2013-18), is a personal injury attorney and a shareholder at Habush Habush & Rottier. He graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2002 and holds a B.A. from Santa
Continue Reading Conway Nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

In this episode of the Bottom Up podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wiscondsin, co-hosts Emil Ovbiagele and Kristen Hardy discuss their experiences as young lawyers and the importance of law clerkships. They are joined by first-year associate Kate Goodhart and summer law clerk Dan Underwood, who share their perspectives.   The conversation covers what employers look for in a good clerk, the importance of mentorship, and the value of doing impactful work. The hosts and guests also share
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 20: Making the Most of Summer Law Clerkships, Tips for First Year Associates

Episode 19 of the Bottom Up Podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, features a discussion on lawyer wellness, stress, and sleep deprivation, focusing on the unique stressors legal professionals face. Amber Ault — who manages the State Bar’s Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program (WisLAP) and has extensive experience in the fields of therapy, sociology, and social work — shares insights and tips for reducing stress and improving sleep habits. Communications Director Joe Forward hosts the discussion, which also
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 19: Stress, Sleep Deprivation, and Lawyer Wellness with Amber Ault

Before April 24, 2024, Roger G. Merry was a licensed lawyer in the State of Wisconsin despite numerous disciplinary actions. On that date, the Supreme Court finally decided enough is enough and revoked his license, overriding the recommendation of the referee who (amazingly) recommended a one year suspension. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Roger G. Merry, 2024 WI 16. In a concurring opinion, authored by Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, five justices (a majority of the court) agreed with the decision
Continue Reading Life Means Life, or Not

In rural Wisconsin, attorneys face distinctive obstacles including inadequate access to resources and overburdened calendars (often due to travel).

For attorneys with offices in secluded or rural locations, covering extensive territories to serve their clients and managing multiple duties is essential to maintain their legal practice. Skillfully managing business costs is crucial. Client appointments and court dates necessitate appearances. Leveraging the skills of competent legal assistants can significantly mitigate these hurdles.

Paralegals as trained professionals can perform tasks that
Continue Reading Rural Lawyers: Reap the Benefits of Teaming Up with Paralegals Remotely

Attorney Tom Watson, the featured guest in the latest episode of the Bottom Up Podcast produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, knows what it means to reinvent yourself.

Tom started his career in broadcast radio. He interviewed big names like Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, entertainer Red Skelton, and others. At age 37, Tom enrolled in law school. He’s now the CEO and president of Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company (WILMIC).

From radio to public relations, from family law
Continue Reading Episode 18: The Parade of Horribles in Legal Malpractice Claims with WILMIC CEO Tom Watson

Ever heard of imposter syndrome? In this episode of the Bottom Up podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, co-host Emil Ovbiagele and guest host Joe Forward interview Samantha Huddleston Baker, a partner at OVB Law and Consulting S.C. in Milwaukee. They discuss impostor syndrome and carving out paths in the early years of a legal career.

Samantha shares her background and journey to law school, as well as her experience joining the law firm and overcoming impostor
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 17: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome with Samantha Huddleston Baker

I feel gratitude commemorating two enriching years at Ogden Glazer + Schafer (“OG+S”) as a Paralegal in the Intellectual Property practice. As I reflect on this milestone, I am struck by the journey, the career shift and finding myself in an environment that fosters growth, champions values of DEI, continual learning, and collaboration. Influential author Brené Brown reminds us, “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change” and this change left me feeling unsure yet eager to delve
Continue Reading Celebrating Two Years as an IP Paralegal: A Journey of Change and Growth

The immeasurable benefits of a healthy work-life balance are well known. Engaging with outside organizations, taking time for personal interests and hobbies, spending time with family and friends, exercising, gardening, caring for pets, traveling – all of these are ways in which we can help our bodies, minds, and souls stay fresh for our law practices and our clients. Additionally, we can learn a lot from our out-of-office activities that help us as attorneys.

In my working life, I
Continue Reading March Madness: How Basketball Can Help You Be a Better Attorney

Simply defined, human trafficking is the exploitation of human beings for someone else’s gain, according to Erika Petty, executive director at Milwaukee-based Lotus Legal Clinic, a nonprofit that provides free legal services exclusively to victims of human trafficking.

As you’ll discover in Episode 16 of the Bottom Up podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, while human trafficking can be simply defined, the complexity of the issue spans the nation and the globe, and hits home right here
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 16: Helping Victims of Human Trafficking, a Hidden Crime, with Erika Petty

In 1963, Frank Gimbel was just three years out of law school when he became an assistant U.S. attorney, serving five years before switching to defense counsel. Gimbel’s career as a trial lawyer, spanning six decades, has been chronicled extensively, with many awards to his name.

But the early days were no walk in the park. Gimbel worked as a tax return preparer, a clothes salesman, and held other side jobs to keep food on the table. These experiences
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 15: Hustle, Humility, and 63 years in Law Practice with Litigator Frank Gimbel

As younger lawyers enter the profession, how do they collaborate and communicate effectively with older generations, who may collaborate differently? What are the current trends, challenges, and opportunities for solo and small firms in the practice management and technology space?  These are some of the questions that co-host Emil Ovbiagele and Joe Forward (guest host) explore with guests Erin Ogden and Brent Hoeft. This is the second episode in a two-parter focused on solo and small firms, recorded from
Continue Reading Episode 14 (Part 2): Solo & Small Firms – Generational Differences and Technology and Practice Management

In this episode, recorded at the 2023 Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference (WSSFC), co-host Emil Obviagele and guest host Joe Forward speak with Jessica Kramer, a small firm owner based in Madison, and Aiden Tharp, a solo practitioner in Hudson.

Kramer was a co-chair of the conference’s substantive law track, and Tharp was a co-chair of the work-life balance/ethics track. The conference theme? Working across different generations of clients, lawyers, and judges. The guests discuss this theme and
Continue Reading Episode 14 (Part 1): Solo & Small Firm Practice in Wisconsin

In Episode 13 of the Bottom Up Podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, co-hosts Emil Ovbiagele and Kristen Hardy talk with Karina O’Brien, an attorney at Kostner, Koslo & Brovold LLC in Arcadia, Wisconsin. The topic? Rural practice in Wisconsin. The challenges. The opportunities. The shortage of attorneys in rural Wisconsin.
A 2014 U.W. Law School graduate, Karina grew up in Arcadia, located 45 miles south of Eau Claire. She didn’t think she would return to her
Continue Reading Episode 13: Rural Law Practice with Karina O’Brien

Milwaukee-based attorney Christa Wittenberg, a 2012 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, never thought she would ever work for a law firm. But plans change.
Now after 9 years with O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, Dejong & Laing S.C., Wittenberg was recently elected to serve on the firm’s 3-person Board of Directors. In the firm’s 50-year history, she is the first woman to serve in that role. In addition to her commercial litigation practice, Wittenberg will help the firm
Continue Reading Episode 12: Navigating New Opportunities with Confidence: Christa Wittenberg