State Bar Board of Governors

scales in front of a row of booksThe State Board of Bar Governors is authorized under Supreme Court Rules Ch. 10  to manage and direct the affairs of the State Bar of Wisconsin (external link). The State Bar is an association that provides continuing legal education and a variety of products and services for Wisconsin lawyers. Membership in the State Bar is mandatory for every lawyer who practices law in the state.

The mission of the State Bar is to:

  • Assist the courts with the administration of justice
  • Foster and maintain high ideals of integrity, learning, competence and public service and high standards of conduct
  • Safeguard the proper professional interests of the members of the Bar
  • Encourage the formation and activities of local Bar associations
  • Conduct a program of continuing legal education
  • Assist or support legal education programs at the pre-admission level
  • Provide a forum for the discussion of subjects pertaining to the practice of law, the science of jurisprudence and law reform and the relations of the Bar to the public
  • Publish information relating to the Bar's work
  • Carry on legal research in the technical fields of substantive law, practice and procedure, and to make reports and recommendations in these areas
  • Promote the innovation, development and improvement of means to deliver legal services to the people of Wisconsin

Board composition

There are three seats earmarked for public members (non-lawyers) on the Board of Bar Governors. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has appointment authority to all three of these seats.

In addition, the Board of Bar Governors is composed of:

  • 34 members elected by lawyers from the State Bar's 16 districts
  • One member selected by the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar
  • One lawyer selected by the Government Lawyers Division of the State Bar
  • Three members selected by the non-resident lawyers
  • The association officers, including the president, past president, president-elect, chair of the Board of Bar Governors, secretary and treasurer

Members of the Board of Bar Governors serve two-year terms, and may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms.


The Board of Governors is required by Supreme Court rule to meet five times per year. The Board meets during the State Bar's annual conference, which is held at various locations throughout the state, and on additional dates set by the Bar president. These dates are announced no later than 30 days after the president takes office on July 1.

The State Bar reimburses the governors' expenses associated with attending the meetings.

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