chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
February 05, 2024

Michelle Behnke of Madison, Wisconsin nominated to become ABA president in 2025

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 5, 2024 – Michelle Behnke of Madison, Wisconsin, principal of Michelle Behnke & Associates, was named by the ABA Nominating Committee today to become 2025-2026 president of the American Bar Association. The ABA House of Delegates will formally vote on the nomination in August. If elected, Behnke will serve a one-year term as ABA president-elect before taking office as president of the association in August 2025 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto. Bill Bay from St. Louis will serve as ABA president from August 2024 to August 2025.

“I am honored to have the confidence of my fellow ABA members to be in line to lead the Association,” Behnke said. “The power of the ABA lies in doing collectively that which we cannot do alone. The combined force of the ABA is perhaps the association’s greatest asset and I hope to articulate the power and value of an ABA membership more clearly and broadly in the coming months.”

A practicing attorney for more than 35 years, Behnke primarily practices in the areas of business mergers and acquisitions and real estate and estate planning. In the past 26 years of managing her firm, Behnke has dealt with issues of cross-border asset acquisition, real estate refinancing with insurance companies and annexation of property into city limits. Behnke began her legal career with Stolper, Koritzinsky, Brewster & Neider, S.C., in Madison, then practiced as in-house counsel for CUNA Mutual Insurance Society before opening her own firm.

Behnke has a long history of service with the ABA. She previously served as ABA treasurer from 2017-2020 and was recently chair of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. She is currently a member of the ABA’s Strategic Planning Committee and is Wisconsin state chair for the Membership Committee. She has been a member of the ABA Board of Governors and House of Delegates and formerly served as chair of the Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Service.

Behnke has been involved in the Madison community since her graduation from the University of Wisconsin (1983) and the University of Wisconsin Law School (1988), serving on a number of nonprofit and corporate boards. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association and served as president of the State Bar of Wisconsin from 2004-2005.

In 2015, Behnke was named Real Estate Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in Wisconsin. She has also been listed in both the Best Lawyers in America and Wisconsin Super Lawyers since 2006.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.