Admission to the practice of law in Wisconsin

students taking an examThe Supreme Court requires lawyers to be admitted to the Supreme Court and join the State Bar of Wisconsin as a condition of practicing law in the state.

Applicants must electronically file an application for admission using the online admissions website (see link to admissions site beneath the filings instructions). You may wish to bookmark the site to more easily check the status of your application once it has been submitted. (See the sample application for a preview of the information you will be asked to provide.) If you do not have an existing eCourts account, you will need to create one in order to file an online application. For deadline dates, fees, and detailed information about the application process, please review the Information and Filing Instructions before filing an application for admission.

An application is considered "filed" when all three of the following items have been received by the Board of Bar Examiners:

  • Application
  • Authorization and Release
  • Filing fee

There are three ways to apply:

Diploma privilege

Under diploma privilege, graduates of the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Law School are admitted to the practice of law by complying with the terms of SCR 40.03 —their school certifies their legal competence and the Board of Bar Examiners certifies their character and fitness for the practice of law.

The Wisconsin bar examination

Admission on proof of practice

The applicant who applies for admission to the practice of law in Wisconsin must show they have been substantially engaged in the practice of law in a state or territory, the federal government, or the District of Columbia for three years within the last five years prior to filing application for admission. A lawyer may satisfy this requirement by proof of practice in more than a single jurisdiction and under more than one provision of SCR 40.05 .


The Board of Bar Examiners must be able to correspond with all applicants and their character and employment references by mail, phone, and email. Please verify that all contact information supplied in your application is current and accurate. In order to receive important, timely email notifications from the Board of Bar Examiners, please verify that your spam settings are not blocking e-mails from any email ending in If you experience other problems receiving emails from the Board of Bar Examiners, please contact the office at (608) 266-9760.

Fee waiver

Veterans: In 2013, the Wisconsin Supreme Court established a fee waiver program for qualified veterans with regard to Wisconsin bar admission and examination fees along with other professional/occupational licensure fees. Eligibility for fee waivers is determined by the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Visit (external link) for more information and to apply for an eligibility code. You must upload a copy of the email (.pdf format) containing your eligibility code in the Document upload section of the online admissions application.

Board of Bar Examiners
110 East Main Street, Suite 310
P.O. Box 2748
Madison, WI 53701-2748
Ph: (608) 266-9760