Welcome to the Dane County Bar Association

Sarah Walkenhorst - DCBA President

Welcome to the Dane County Bar Association (DCBA) website.  For over 155 years, DCBA has offered support, assistance, and resources to both its members and the community.  We are proud to have a tradition of service, and our Board and committee and section volunteers are committed to continuing that tradition.

DCBA provides a variety of public outreach programs, including our annual Law Day celebration, the Family Law Assistance Center, the Small Claims Assistance Program, community education presentations, and numerous pro bono opportunities.  We also offer a cost-effective Case Mediation Program for early resolution of disputes.

DCBA offers a wide selection of programs for attorneys.  We provide bimonthly CLE luncheons on current legal topics, and many of our committees and sections offer additional programs throughout the year.  The Joseph A. Melli Mentorship Program, which matches newer lawyers with more experienced counsel, is one of the most long-standing and successful mentorship programs in the country.  In the coming year, we will also have a special committee focusing on technology issues attorneys may face in their practices and developing programming aimed at addressing some of those issues.  

We also seek to strengthen the relationships between lawyers and with the judiciary, hosting social programs such as the annual Bench Bar Brawl, Fridays at Four, Senior Lawyers and Young Lawyers events.

If you would like to learn more about DCBA, please browse our website or contact us at law@dcba.net.  You can also contact me anytime at swalkenh@hotmail.com.  We welcome your feedback about the website and invite your comments and questions about DCBA.


Dane County Basic Estate Planning Clinic is a program to help low-income seniors and veterans prepare basic estate planning documents.



The Law for the Public Committee kicked off its Your Life, Your Rights Program with a presentation at La Follette High School by the Honorable C. William Foust and Dane County Assistant Corporation Counsel Eve Dorman. The Your Life, Your Rights Program brings teams of volunteer lawyers and judges into classrooms to help educate high school students about their legal rights and responsibilities. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Chair of the Law for the Public Committee, Mpoli Simwanza-Johnson, at msjohnson@whdlaw.com.

Dane County Circuit Judges have authorized the creation of a Veterans’ Treatment Court here in Dane County.   The Veterans Administration, the Dane County Sheriff, the District Attorney, and the Public Defender have agreed to support this initiative.  Most important, a group volunteer veterans from the community have agreed to act as mentors to individuals who participate in the court process

End your week by relaxing and socializing with fellow members of the bar over refreshments and light snacks.  Fridays at 4 events are sponsored by the DCBA and hosted on a monthly basis by area law firms.  Watch for these events in the calendar of up coming events on our home page.
Would your law firm like to host a Fridays at 4 event?
Please contact Lis Shea at shea.elis@gmail.com