Bill Weigel chose a career in law to make the world a better place.
“My greatest enjoyment has been always trying to do the right thing competently and compassionately,” said Weigel. “Sure, I have always been competitive and driven — but it is not about winning, pushing paper and making money. The law as a career is an opportunity to serve and make a difference.”
Weigel recently retired from his role as litigation counsel and general counsel in the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation. It’s an agency of the Wisconsin Supreme Court that receives grievances relating to lawyer misconduct, conducts investigations and prosecutes violations of lawyer ethics rules.
Weigel had served in that role since 1996, and he is also a past officer and president of the National Organization of Bar Counsel. Additionally, he served for many years as a municipal judge.
“In my OLR work, much of the public worried we were foxes guarding the henhouse, and many lawyers thought we were over-prosecutorial government busybodies,” Weigel said. “It was not a struggle to maintain unfailing fairness and stick to the process, but one sure had to develop thick skin.
“As to my judicial work, it is not brain surgery, and it is easy to remain fair. The more difficult task is to conduct oneself so that members of the public understand and have confidence that the legal system is fair.”
A compassionate and perceptive listener, Weigel has mentored a number of OLR employees, regardless of whether they were members of his team.
“Bill masterfully developed and assisted employees, promoted cooperative relationships within the organization, and improved both the agency’s performance and office climate,” said Keith Sellen, former OLR director. “In the context of our senior-subordinate relationship, Bill was a faithful guide, adviser and friend, careful to communicate all the nuances of decisions and to encourage me professionally and personally.”