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The latest on women lawyers in the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Click here for SCOWstats update of its 2016 post Women in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which celebrated the steady rise in the number of women arguing cases there.  The good news is that the percentage of arguments by women lawyers in the private sector soared during 2016-2017. The bad news is that the percentage of arguments by women in the public sector plunged. Women gave 75% of public defender arguments in 2015-2016 but only 53% in 2016-2017.  It’s hard to pinpoint the reason for this change given that public defenders are randomly assigned appeals at the circuit level before it is possible to tell whether a case involves issues worthy of SCOW’s attention. Meanwhile, women gave 50% of the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s arguments in 2015-2016 but only 18% in 2016-2017. SCOWstats says that Wisconsin’s new Solicitor General’s office may be responsible for a big part of that plunge. The SG argued 13 cases to SCOW in 2016-2017, but none of the lawyers were women.

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