Attorney Jessica M. Butler
Attorney Butler was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She grew up on the Northwest and East sides of Milwaukee. At an early age she knew she wanted to become a lawyer. Although she credits her kind, friendly and inclusive nature to her mother; she attributes her interest in law and service to her father, former Supreme Court Justice Louis B. Butler, Jr. As a child, Attorney Butler attended many community and political events with her father; she most fondly remembers community brainstorming breakfast meetings at St. Matthew’s C.M.E. Church on Saturday mornings. She also would shadow him at least once a year to see what it was like in the courtroom.
Attorney Butler attended Morse Middle School for the Gifted and Talented, and Rufus King High School. While in high school she participated in organizations like the Black Student Union and Latinos Unidos, and also was involved in JV and Varsity Cheer, softball (recreational) and the gospel choir. After graduating from King in 2001, she began her college career at UW-Madison. In her second year of college, she was blessed with her first daughter. Excited to become a mother, but determined to finish school and pursue her dreams of becoming a lawyer, she transferred to UW-Milwaukee. While at UWM, Attorney Butler joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; the first historically Black Greek letter sorority. Unlike most college sororities, Alpha Kappa Alpha is a world-wide social justice organization for women of all ages. Attorney Butler joined this organization because she wanted to be an advocate, role model and resource for women, and make changes in her community by promoting equal opportunity and personal development.
In May of 2006, Attorney Butler received her Bachelor’s degree from UWM majoring in Political Science with a pre-Law focus. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Madison with her daughter to attend UW-Law School. Although she was extremely busy being both a full-time student and single mother, she still found time to actively contribute to her sorority, the Black Law Students’ Association, the Law School Family Association and the Student Bar Association. While in law school she worked as an intern for Chief Judge C. William Foust in Dane County and as an advocate for the UW-Law School’s Unemployment Appeals Clinic. During this time, Attorney Butler also found time to not only do fun activities with her daughter and cook every night, but also opened her home to neighborhood children after school until their parents got home from work or class. As a result, Attorney Butler developed a network of women who often exchanged favors or services or food with one another to help each other out.
After earning her Juris Doctorate from UW-Law School in 2009, Attorney Butler moved back to Milwaukee to be near her family. Since her return to Milwaukee, Attorney Butler has been actively involved in her community and in doing service work. In the past she has given her time to the Volunteer Lawyer’s Association and taken on a number of pro bono cases. She has volunteered as a Sunday School teacher and been a part of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) at St. Robert’s Parish. She currently serves on a number of committees and a board for several organizations. Attorney Butler has two daughters, ages 19 and 6, who keep her very busy in her spare time and are both active in sports: soccer and volleyball. She coaches for her youngest daughter’s indoor futsal team and serves on the school advisory commission. She was also recently appointed to serve as a supplemental court commissioner for Judge Glenn Yamahiro in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. From a young age, Attorney Butler has always taken an interest in social justice and has believed in advocating for and defending the rights of the disadvantaged and underprivileged.
Attorney Butler began her practice of law more than a decade ago with her primary focus on general civil litigation. She has done work for both plaintiffs and defendants. Her past experience as an associate attorney includes handling cases pre-litigation and assisting on lawsuits in various practice areas, including, but not limited to, personal injury, business litigation, worker’s compensation, and insurance defense. She was recently appointed as a Supplemental Court Commissioner for Judge Glenn Yamahiro for the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
Awards and Recognition
- Recognized as America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys, 2020
- Featured in article published by Super Lawyers “OK, Ladies, Now Let’s Get in Formation,” 2019
- Featured in article published by Inside Track, State Bar of Wisconsin bi-weekly publication, “Three Women Lawyer-Leaders Make WAAL History,” 2019
- Featured in article published by Jackson Advocate, “Attorney Butler Challenges Black Lawyers,” 2018
- Top 40 Under 40, The National Trial Lawyers, 2018
- Rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo
- Rising Star – Super Lawyers, 2018-2022
- Director – Dominican Center for Women, 2020 – present
- Ethics Committee Member – State Bar of Wisconsin, 2018 – present
- Court’s Committee – Milwaukee Bar Assoc., 2018 – present
- Diversity Committee Member – Wisconsin Association for Justice, present
- Author – State Bar of Wisconsin Pinnacle series, The Law of Damages, 2011 – present
- Member – Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers, present
- Past-President – Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers, 2017-18
- Member – Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., 2006 – present