Wes Webendorfer was drawn to politics long before he decided he wanted to become a lawyer.
As a Madison native, he found the state Capitol looming large in his life. Growing up there, Webendorfer saw clearly that the Capitol was “the most important building” in the city. In college, he volunteered on political campaigns. He interned in Washington, D.C., for Tammy Baldwin.
Finally, after a two-year stint working in the state Legislature, he decided to go to law school, with the encouragement of his then-boss, Fred Risser, D-Madison. During his time working in the Legislature, he saw lawyers as problem-solvers, and that’s what he wanted to do.
“That’s something I wanted to be involved with,” Webendorfer said. “I saw the law as something that could be used for good. I saw the law as something that could be used to solve societal problems.”
Webendorfer left Wisconsin for law school at Loyola University in Chicago in 2009. But after earning his law degree in 2012, he decided he wanted to return to Wisconsin.
After a yearlong clerkship at the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Webendorfer joined Brookfield-based DeWitt Ross & Stevens in the firm’s government relations practice. There, he finds himself working on business litigation cases, contract disputes and disputes with shareholders. It’s an avenue he’s found rewarding and interesting.
But Webendorfer also has been able to guide clients through the often-complex maze of state government, too.
Some of his accomplishments include representing clients in disputes with state agencies, such as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. He’s also helped guide clients through Wisconsin’s procurement process, its environmental regulations and has advised businesses on the state’s campaign finance rules.
His job, he said, has kept him engaged in Wisconsin government and led him to help demystify the government for his clients.
“What I really like doing the most is problem solving for clients and handling issues for clients where they have a problem where they have to interface with the government,” Webendorfer said, “understanding the way that government works and the way that different branches interplay with each other.”