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Is Legal Malpractice Insurance Required in Wisconsin?

As a Wisconsin attorney, purchasing legal malpractice insurance is one way to protect yourself and your firm. Insurance can offer valuable coverage when unhappy clients accuse you of malpractice. However, you may wonder if purchasing such insurance is a requirement for a Wisconsin lawyer.

What Qualifies as Legal Malpractice in Wisconsin?

According to Wisconsin’s Supreme Court Rules, legal malpractice occurs when an attorney violates or tries to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, commits a criminal act that reflects badly on the lawyer’s integrity, engages in misrepresentation, dishonesty, fraud, or deceit, violates their oath, and fails to deliver the quality of service and care a client could reasonably expect to receive. Basic examples of behaviors or errors that may qualify as malpractice include:

  • Missing court dates
  • Failing to submit claims or other important documents by deadlines
  • Not properly communicating with clients


A client can take legal action against an attorney who they believe has committed malpractice. They must show the following when doing so:

  • Their attorney engaged in malpractice, and
  • They would have likely won a case had their attorney not engaged in malpractice.


Being found liable or responsible for malpractice can have significant consequences for an attorney. Along with harming their professional reputation and potentially resulting in the loss of their license to practice law, a malpractice lawsuit could negatively impact their finances.

What Is Attorney or Legal Malpractice Insurance in Wisconsin?

Legal malpractice insurance offers financial protection when unhappy clients file malpractice claims. Attorney malpractice insurance may pay such claims up to an attorney’s policy limits. Naturally, as with all forms of insurance, there may be situations in which legal malpractice insurance doesn’t provide coverage.

Some legal malpractice insurance providers also offer other helpful resources. For example, they may provide attorneys with educational resources regarding how to respond to client accusations of malpractice.

Is Legal Malpractice Insurance a Requirement for Attorneys in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin law does not require that attorneys purchase malpractice insurance. However, purchasing malpractice insurance may be considered to be a “best practice” for attorneys operating in the state.

The Benefits of Purchasing Legal Malpractice Insurance in Wisconsin

Although purchasing attorney malpractice insurance might not be a requirement for lawyers in Wisconsin, buying it can nevertheless be advantageous for attorneys. The following are key reasons why:

  • Peace of Mind You may have every intention of providing all clients with the service they deserve. That said, you’re only human. It’s possible you’ll make errors in your work. In addition, someone working under you could make mistakes that jeopardize your firm. Having insurance gives you peace of mind in these circumstances.
  • Making the Right Impression on Clients Purchasing insurance is a way to indicate to potential clients that you’re a serious attorney who cares about their satisfaction. It shows that remedies are available if a client isn’t happy with your work.
  • Staying in Business Without insurance, you may have to pay a client yourself if malpractice occurs. This could put your firm out of business.


These are just a few reasons to purchase legal malpractice insurance. While you are not required to purchase malpractice insurance in Wisconsin, most attorneys in the state do so.

Learn More About Buying Legal Malpractice Insurance in Wisconsin

If you’re a Wisconsin lawyer looking for legal malpractice insurance, our team at WILMIC may offer the right policy for you. Learn more about Wisconsin legal insurance by contacting us online or calling us at (800) 373-3839 to discuss your needs today.



Is Legal Malpractice Insurance Required in Wisconsin?