Where Do Wisconsin Lawyers Obtain Their Legal Educations?

Posted on Categories Legal Education, Legal Practice, Marquette Law School, Wisconsin Law & Legal System

To no one’s surprise, the vast majority of current Wisconsin lawyers received their legal education in the Badger State.  According to official figures, 12,357 of 20,841 (59.3%) of the current active members of the Wisconsin State Bar are graduates of the law schools at Marquette and the University of Wisconsin.   Slightly more than a third of all lawyers (7249, or 34.8%) attended Wisconsin while just under one quarter (5108, or 24.5%) are graduates of Marquette.

After Wisconsin, the states whose law schools currently contribute the largest number of alumni to the Wisconsin bar are Minnesota and Illinois, whose 1,824 and 1301 graduates account for 8.8% and 6.2% of the lawyers in the state, respectively.

Other than Wisconsin, the top 10 states supplying lawyers to Wisconsin are:

Minnesota        1824

Illinois               1301

Michigan           518

Iowa                   442

Indiana              411

Massachusetts  332

California          299

New York         240

Dist. Columbia   237

Ohio                    214

The only other states with at least 100 alumni currently practicing law in Wisconsin are Nebraska (142) and  Virginia (121), although Florida just misses at 99.  The dominance of Midwestern states on the list is not surprising, as the national pattern is that most lawyers go to law school in the region in which they eventually practice.  (Note that in spite of the recent influx of Yale Law School graduates on to the Marquette Law School faculty, Connecticut does not make the list.)

If we focus on individual law schools instead of states, the Top 10 contributors to the Wisconsin bar, after Wisconsin and Marquette are listed below.  Minnesota schools dominate the top of the list:

Hamline               655

Wm Mitchell      638

U. Minnesota     506

John Marshall    294

U Iowa                 235

U Michigan         235

Drake                    207

Harvard               200

DePaul                  197

Cooley                  180

The next ten are:

Chicago-Kent     176

Valparaiso          174

Northwestern    159

Illinois                  123

Georgetown        114

Notre Dame        113

Loyola-Chi          112

No. Illinois          101

Creighton            101

U Chicago             97

Again, the Midwestern dominance is apparent.  Counting the Wisconsin schools, 20 of the 22 “feeder” schools are from the Midwest, with Harvard and Georgetown the only exceptions.  The afore-mentioned Yale clocks in at 26th overall, tied with St. Louis University with 58 graduates practicing in the state.

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