Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Frank Lasee has a strong opinion about Wisconsin lawyers: There are too many. He’s a state representative whose proposal to cut state funding to the University of Wisconsin Law School recently cleared the Wisconsin State Assembly. His plan would cut the law school’s funding by $1 million this year and completely by 2010 � or about 10% of the school’s total funding, sparking fear of higher tuitions. “When a plague of locusts descends on your field, what do you do? Do you help them multiply? Subsidize them? That is UW system’s policy,” wrote Lasee in a July 19 post on his blog. ‘Crude’ reasoning? Kenneth Davis, dean of the law school, disagreed with the assemblyman’s claim, pointing out that nearby Minnesota has a relatively equal population and twice the number of law schools. Wisconsin has a population of about 5.5 million, compared with Minnesota’s 5.1 million. There are only two law schools in Wisconsin; the other is Marquette University, which is private. “Wisconsin has one-third fewer lawyers per population than the national average,” added Davis. There are about 14,500 lawyers in Wisconsin, according to the American Bar Association. The average number of lawyers per state is more than 22,000. According to Lasee, lawyers are responsible for a flawed court system, a medical system living in fear of lawsuits and an overly litigious society. “When you have more lawyers than doctors in America and limited tax dollars, I don’t see why we would be supporting taxpayers subsidizing the creation of more of them,” he said. Ann Althouse, the Robert W. & Irma M. Arthur-Bascom professor at the law school, was unimpressed with the proposal. “Lasee’s reasoning strikes me as crude,” she said in an e-mail. “If he thinks there are too many frivolous tort suits, he can work on tort reform legislation.” The proposal has some wondering if Lasee has a personal vendetta against lawyers. A July 31 column in the Wisconsin State Journal unearthed public transcripts from his 2003 divorce, which indicate that he fired his lawyer before the hearing was complete and accused the judge of having “lied from the bench.” “We see this as an individual legislator lashing out at the legal profession because of a personal chip that he has on his shoulder,” said Thomas Basting, president of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Lasee insisted that his problem wasn’t with lawyers, but with using taxpayer money to create new ones. “I have friends who are attorneys,” he said. Lasee was able to get fellow Assembly Republicans to approve the cut. The complete budget package is currently being reconciled with the state Senate’s proposals in the conference committee. It must then be signed by the governor. “My guess is that it will be ignored by the conference committee and life will go on as usual,” said Basting, of the proposed cut.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.