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Shirley Schlanger Abrahamson

Shirley Schlanger Abrahamson, state supreme court chief justice. Bar: Indiana 1956, New York 1961, Wisconsin 1962. Recipient Dwight D. Opperman award, American Judicature Society, 2004.


  • Abrahamson, Shirley Schlanger was born on December 17, 1933 in New York City. Daughter of Leo and Ceil (Sauerteig) Schlanger.

  • Education

    • AB, New York University, 1953. Juris Doctor, Indiana University, 1956. Doctor of Juridical Science, University Wisconsin, 1962.


    • Assistant director Legislation Drafting Research Fund, Columbia University Law School, 1957-1960. Since practiced in Madison, Wisconsin, 1962-1976. Member firm LaFollette, Sinykin, Anderson & Abrahamson, 1962-1976.

      Justice Wisconsin Supreme Court, Madison, 1976-1996, chief justice, since 1996. Board visitors Indiana University School Law, 1972-1902, University Miami School Law, 1982-1997, University Chicago Law School, 1988-1992, Brigham Young University, School Law, 1986-1988, Northwestern University Law School, 1989-1994. Chairman Wisconsin Rhodes Scholarship Committee, 1992-1995.

      Chairman national advisory committee on court-adjudicated and court-ordered health care George Washington University Center Health Policy, Washington, 1993-1995. Member DNA advisory board Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department Justice, 1995-2001. Board directors Institute Judicial Administration, Incorporated, New York York University School Law.

      Chair National Institute Justice's Commission Future DNA Evidence, 1997-2001. Professor University Wisconsin School Law, 1966-1992. Vice president Conference of Chief Justices, since 2002.

    Major achievements

    • Bar: Indiana 1956, New York 1961, Wisconsin 1962.


    • Editor: Constitutions of the United States (National and State) 2 vols, 1962.


    Member study group program of research, mental health and the law John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 1988-1996. Member council fund for research on dispute resolution Ford Foundation, 1987-1991. Board directors Wisconsin Civil Liberties Union, 1968-1972.

    Member court reform advisory panel International Human Rights Law Group Cambodia Project, 1995-1997. Member American Bar Association (council, section legal education and admissions to bar 1976-1986, member commission on undergraduate education in law and the humanities 1978-1979, standing committee on public education 1991-1995, member commission on access to justice/2000 1993-1902, member advisory board Central and East European law initiative 1994-1999, member consortium on legal services and the public 1995-2001, vice-chair American Bar Association Coalition for Justice 1997-2000), Wisconsin Bar Association, Dane County Bar Association, 7th Circuit Bar Association, National Association Women Judges, American Law Institute (member council since 1985), American Philosophical Society, American Academy Arts and Sciences.


    • Married Seymour Abrahamson, August 26, 1953. 1 son, Daniel Nathan.
    • father: Leo Schlanger
    • mother: Ceil (Sauerteig) Schlanger
    • spouse: Seymour Abrahamson
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    Born December 17, 1933