Lawsuit Filed Against Wisconsin State Bar Over ‘Discriminatory’ Diversity Internship
Flag of the US State of Wisconsin.
Credit: Manuel Augusto Moreno via Getty Images.

A lawsuit has been filed against the State Bar of Wisconsin over “discriminatory” DEI practices, including offering up exclusive internship opportunities to racial and sexual minorities. 

According to the lawsuit, filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) on behalf of attorney Daniel Suhr, the state bar’s “Diversity Clerkship Program” violates the 14th Amendment by discriminating against hundreds of Wisconsin attorneys. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. 

“When the government discriminates based on race, it sows more division in our country and violates the Constitution in the process. WILL is standing up against  discrimination and holding the State Bar accountable to the rights of its due-paying members,” WILL Associate Counsel Skylar Croy said. 

The state bar describes the program as a 10-week paid internship for a first-year law student from Marquette University Law School or the University of Wisconsin Law School. The bar says that students must come from “backgrounds that have been historically excluded from the legal field​​ who are in good standing.”

Suhr said that internships should be open for all students, regardless of background. 

“Internships are competitive — as they should be. But when one group is  given preferential treatment over the other to apply for these programs, the programs lose competitiveness  and hurt all Americans. This also goes against my beliefs entirely. The State Bar should do better and expand  these opportunities to all Wisconsin law students,” he said. 

The lawsuit says that the “Diversity Clerkship Program” should not exist, but says that at a minimum that dues from members of the bar should not be used to fund the internship. The suits says that the program violates the equal protection rights of law students.


“For as long as the Bar is engaged in activities that are not germane to either regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of legal services, compelled membership is unconstitutional,” the lawsuit says. 

Suhr also says that his free speech rights have been violated through various political statements made by the bar, including claims that, “Black Americans suffer from police brutality and crippling fear caused by systemic racism and implicit bias tha​​​​t is ingrained in our legal system.”

WILL wants the court to block the bar from keeping the program in place and to rule that Suhr’s free speech and free association rights have been violated. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Lawsuit Filed Against Wisconsin State Bar Over ‘Discriminatory’ Diversity Internship