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Bar President Boll keeps wits about him

James C. Boll, Jr.

James C. Boll, Jr.

In order to become President of the State Bar of Wisconsin, certain practical criteria are not only expected, but required.

But it also doesn’t hurt to have a good sense of humor, which is something attorney James C. Boll, Jr. likes to showcase.

Whether it’s telling a new class of Wisconsin attorneys not to underestimate the leadership skills of an average student, or gliding down a waterslide, in his business suit, to commemorate a fruitful Board of Governor’s meeting, Boll always seems to be having a good time doing what he does best.

All kidding aside, the current president also realizes the seriousness of his profession and the issues it’s faced with, such as the uncertainty of its membership status and the ongoing challenge of providing quality representation to indigent people.

Boll applied both his personal wit and professional wisdom to this week’s version of Asked & Answered.

Wisconsin Law Journal: If you could develop one CLE course for credit, what would it be about?

James C. Boll, Jr.: I would very much like the State Bar to develop a CLE that talks about the need for greater civility in our profession. Attorneys have to diligently defend their clients but they can do so in a civil and courteous way.

WLJ: What can you spend hours doing that isn’t law-related?

Boll: Eating chicken wings, drinking beer, and watching the Packers.

WLJ: What is your favorite website and why?

Boll: I check it every day at lunch. It is the best website to get updated on all the sports action.

WLJ: Which actor would play you in a movie and why?

Boll: Brad Pitt, because I look like him.

WLJ: What is one thing attorneys should know that they won’t learn in law school?

Boll: To all those students who perhaps spent too much time socializing and maybe too much time at the local pub and ended up being C students in law school … you too can be President of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

WLJ: What is the first concert you went to?

Boll: Beach Boys at Summerfest in1984.

WLJ: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

Boll: John Wayne. He never cried, never talked about himself and always loved his country.

WLJ: What is the hardest thing to tell a client?

Boll: That they are wrong.

WLJ: What is the one luxury item you cannot live without?

Boll: Diet Coke

(Editor’s note: The following question was asked – and answered – with tongue firmly in cheek)

WLJ: If you were State Bar President for a day and could make one permanent change to the profession, what would it be?

Boll: Fire the exiting State Bar President and hire Jack Zemlicka for the day. He would know what to do.

Jack Zemlicka can be reached at

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