FFRF attorney to head civil rights section of Wis. state bar

Patrick ElliottOne of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s constitutional attorneys is on his way to becoming the chair of a vital division of a state lawyers’ association.

FFRF Senior Counsel Patrick Elliott has been chosen president-elect of the Civil Rights & Liberties Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin. The State Bar is, of course, the organization of lawyers in the Badger State.

“The State Bar of Wisconsin is a professional association that provides educational, career development and other services to its 25,000 members,” its website reads. “It also provides public services, including attorney referrals, public education and reduced-fee legal assistance for low-income state residents.” 

The Civil Rights & Liberties Section of the State Bar focuses on our basic constitutional freedoms.

Patrick originally hails from the neighboring state of Minnesota, but has been a resident of Wisconsin ever since he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin around the start of the millennium. He went on to receive a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2009, with a special interest in the First Amendment and constitutional law. He joined FFRF as a staff attorney in 2010, the second lawyer to become part of the state/church watchdog. Now he is set to also chair the statewide legal section that helps educate Wisconsin lawyers and lawmakers about civil rights.

“I’m looking forward to working with the State Bar and lawyers in Wisconsin on civil rights issues,” said Elliott.

The Civil Rights & Liberties Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin does a range of work.

“The goals and purposes of this Section are to bring together members of the State Bar of Wisconsin who have special interest in the legal fields of civil rights, constitutional rights,” the description of the Section reads in part on the website.

The Section also “monitors and takes positions on legislative issues important to members,” the website states. In addition, it engages in outreach to law schools, sponsors legal meetings and conferences. And it conducts continuing legal education courses on a range of issues.

FFRF is pleased that Patrick’s in-depth knowledge and diligence on constitutional matters has been acknowledged by a statewide body.

“We’re thrilled that Patrick is getting much-deserved recognition,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “There can’t be a better-qualified person to lead a state-level organization’s work in such an important field.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a Wisconsin-based national nonprofit with 31,000 members nationwide, including more than 1,400 in Wisconsin. FFRF’s purposes are to protect the constitutional separation between church and state, and to educate the public about matters relating to nontheism.

Photo by Chris Line

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

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