Established in 1858, the mission of the Milwaukee Bar Association is to serve the interests of the lawyers, judges and the people of Milwaukee County by working to:
Promote the professional interests of the local bench and bar;
- Encourage collegiality, public service and professionalism on the part of the lawyers of Southeastern Wisconsin;
- Improve access to justice for those living and working in Milwaukee County;
- Support the courts of Milwaukee County in the administration of justice; and
- Increase public awareness of the crucial role that the law plays in the lives of the people of Milwaukee County.
History of Service
Wisconsin was only a decade old when the Milwaukee Bar Association (MBA) was founded in 1858. The MBA is the fifth oldest bar in the nation and is one of a handful of antebellum bar associations. As the MBA's founders addressed the great Constitutional challenge of the Civil War, they began a tradition that Milwaukee attorneys continue today: developing the legal profession as an essential component of America's democratic infrastructure.
The MBA has a rich history marked by its early commitment to civic service. Some of what is taken for granted today had its inception in the MBA, including the Milwaukee Law School (now Marquette University Law School) and the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee. Since its founding, the MBA has successfully advocated for local and state practice standards, ethics codes and lawyer discipline, and licensure, including diploma privilege as it uniquely remains today.
The MBA's current profile includes:
- Voluntary membership of 2400 attorneys (50% of the lawyers in Milwaukee County)
- 13-person elected Board of Directors
- Staff of seven professionals
- Top-notch facility that is available for continuing legal education (CLE) seminars and committee meetings
- 19 committees and 17 substantive law sections
- More than 100 CLE programs presented annually. All CLE's are available via live web cast and after the live presentation date using our CLE On-Demand Service.
- Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) that annually refers 8,300 clients to LRIS program attorneys and earned over 2 million dollars in fees for panel attorneys in 2009.
- Philanthropic mission that is accomplished through the Milwaukee Bar Association Foundation
- Events providing opportunities for bar members to network with colleagues and the judiciary. Some of these events include:
- Judges Night, Judicial Candidate Forums, Law Day, Memorial Service, Annual Meeting, State of the Court Luncheon, and the MBA Foundation Golf Outing