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Justice for All: The Legacy of Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson

The Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson Legacy Committee has developed a traveling exhibit called Justice for All: The Legacy of Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson. The exhibit aims to educate the public about the most influential justice in Wisconsin history and encourage public service. It is available for display throughout Wisconsin.

Justice for All: The Legacy of Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson
Justice for All: The Legacy of Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson

Exhibit Description

The exhibit presents the groundbreaking career of Wisconsin’s first woman justice, her impact on the Wisconsin court system, and her place in history. It highlights causes she championed—women’s rights, civil rights, public understanding of the court system, and the importance of an independent judiciary. It presents these themes through archival photos, video clips, stories, and quotations.

The exhibit links to a new, interactive learning tool called Tootsie the Goldfish, which is based on Abrahamson’s tutorial for helping people understand how judges decide cases. To her, nothing was more important than public confidence in the law and courts.

Another link on the exhibit takes visitors to this website where they can explore (1) a visual biography of Abrahamson from her birth to Polish, Jewish immigrants through her historic career on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, (2) her most significant legal opinions, (3) a timeline highlighting the trail she blazed for women lawyers and judges, and (4) her quotable quotes.

Audience and Venues

The exhibit is intended for the general public. It is ideal for museums, libraries, secondary schools, public atriums, and events promoting civics education, Wisconsin history, women’s history, and legal history. It may be displayed for up to 12 weeks.

Current Schedule

  • May 25 – June 30, 2022, Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Lobby
  • July 1 – Aug. 31, 2022, Wausau: Marathon Co. Public Library
  • Sept. 1 – Sept. 30, 2022, Milwaukee: Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda
  • Oct. 1 – Dec. 1, 2022, Milwaukee: UW-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library, Student Library Learning Commons
  • Oct. 1 – Dec. 15, 2022, Madison: University of Wisconsin Law Library
  • Jan. 3 – March 31, 2023, Eau Claire: LE Phillips Memorial Public Library
  • March 20 – April 17, 2023, Milwaukee: Marquette University Law School
  • April 1 – June 27, 2023, Green Bay: Neville Public Museum
  • June 17 – August 31, 2023, Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Library, Central Library
  • July 1-31, 2023, Drummond: Drummond Public Library
  • August 1-31, 2023, Minocqua: Minocqua Public Library
  • September 1-30, 2023, Janesville: Hedberg Public Library
  • September 2 – November 2, 2023, Stevens Point: UW Stevens Point Dreyfus University Center
  • October 6 – November 6, Lake Geneva: Lake Geneva Public Library
  • November 2 – February 2, 2024, Madison: The UW Hillel Foundation at the Barbara Hochberg Center for Jewish Student Life


The exhibit consists of eight poly fabric banners, each measuring 39” X 87”, and four banner stands. Each stand supports two retractable banners, front to back. The banner stands are lightweight and easy to move.

The minimum recommended space for displaying the exhibit is 180 square feet.

To book the exhibit, please email