Our History

Boardman Clark traces its roots to 1881 when Robert Fighting Bob” LaFollette started his civil law practice in Madison. LaFollette served as Dane County District Attorney before founding his practice, and also served as the Governor of Wisconsin from 1901 – 1906.

The current partnership of Boardman & Clark LLP was formed on January 1, 2012 when the attorneys of two long-standing Madison-based partnerships, Boardman, Suhr, Curry, & Field, LLP and Lathrop & Clark LLP, joined together. Boardman Clark now embraces a history that encompasses the storied pasts of the two prior firms.

We are proud of our history as a leader in the community, and as a contributor to its growth and prosperity over the past century. 

The Boardman name was introduced in 1933 when Robert M. Lafollette’s son, Philip LaFollette, formed a new partnership along with Glenn D. Roberts, John D. Roe and W. Wade Boardman. In 1950, after World War II, the firm was restructured and became Roberts, Roe, Boardman, Suhr and Bjork.

Lathrop & Clark’s history also dated back over 100 years. In 1901, James F. Oliver and Emerson Ela, who had been classmates at the University of Wisconsin Law School, formed the partnership of Oliver and Ela. The firm expanded over the ensuing decades, and in 1947 James Clark joined the firm. In 1962, the firm became Ela, Christianson, Ela, Esch, Hart & Clark. In 1978, Ela, Esch, Hart & Clark and Isaksen, Lathrop, Heaney & Long merged to become Lathrop & Clark.

We are proud of our history as a leader in the community, and as a contributor to its growth and prosperity. As the law firm has grown with Madison, our practice has spanned the state and country and now runs the spectrum from real estate closings to complex patent litigation. We serve individuals, businesses, and local governments — with a focus on banks, health care organizations, auto dealerships, school districts, municipal utilities, and insurance companies.

While our practice may be as diverse as the communities that we call home, one unifying feature is an unwavering commitment to excellence and sensitivity to the needs of our clients. We develop creative legal solutions, while at the same time maintaining the highest degree of integrity and legal competence, with a healthy dose of common sense and practicality.

The Latest

$5 Million Penalty Plus Disgorgement of Profits for Child Labor Violations

Employment Law Update | 06.12.24

This and more in the June 2024 edition of the Employment Law Update.