Wisconsin State Law Library

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January 5, 2021

In Memory of Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson

Flags are flying at half staff today to honor former Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson. Justice Abrahamson passed away on December 19, 2020 at the age of 87. 

Justice Abrahamson was the first woman to serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, serving on the Court for 43 years. In a recent Wisconsin Court System article, Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack said, “During her four decades on the Court, Justice Abrahamson made numerous contributions, both in terms of the law and the administration of the court system. She was well-read, well-traveled, and she brought a lifetime of interesting experiences with her as she served on the bench. The court system and the people of Wisconsin continue to benefit from her work and will do so for years to come.” You can read about Justice Abrahamson’s long career on the Court’s biography page, or in Portraits of Justice

In 2008, she took time to sit for a READ poster promotion during National Library Week. A framed copy of this poster can be found on the second floor of the library. 

We remember her as an avid researcher dedicated to serving Wisconsin, and a strong supporter of the library. The library is working on incorporating donated items from Justice Abrahamson’s extensive book collection into the library collection. A unique bookplate designed for this collection will be inside each cover. (Pictured below.) 

Bookplate for donations from Justice Abrahamson's collection

Justice Abrahamson authored over 1300 opinions during her time on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. You can find them in a Google Scholar author search, or by searching other legal research databases using her name in the judge or author search field.

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