Rhinelander welcomes new city attorney
By Lori Adler, reporter
Last week Rhinelander common council approved the hiring of a new city attorney, a position the council has been working to fill since spring. Steven Sorenson will now be Rhinelander’s municipal lawyer.
Sorenson is currently a shareholder of von Briesen firm, which has been providing legal services to the City of Rhinelander on a temporary basis since the city attorney position was vacated in April. Sorenson’s home is located in Green Lake, but he also has a cabin in the area, which will make it easier for him to conduct business for the city.
Sorenson has been coming to the Rhinelander area with his family since he was born. He also spent a lot of time with his uncle, who was the conservation warden for Forest County for 38 years. In addition, he and his wife have had their cabin in Laona since 2002.
“I know this part of the state very, very well, and I used to spend most of my summers up in this area traveling in the woods with my uncle,” Sorenson said.
Sorenson has been practicing municipal law since 1980 and was the district attorney in Waukesha County prior to that. He has been a member of the Wisconsin League of Municipalities for close to 40 years and is a former president of the State Bar of Wisconsin. His practice covers the Fox Valley area with offices in Ripon and Oshkosh as well as Laona. He also teaches at Ripon College. Sorenson is a busy man, but said he has figured out how to divide his time in order to provide Rhinelander with all needed services.
“I’m really going to design my schedule probably two to three days a week up here, maybe four, and then three to four days back home. I can practice just about anywhere given the nature of my practice,” he said. “I’m more of a business consultant, municipal consultant and then I write and lecture.”
While originally in practice for himself, Sorenson said he feels law in the 21st century requires attorneys to have access to the support staff that can only be found at larger firms, and that his being a part of a big firm has its advantages.
“That’s what’s really good and that’s what the city of Rhinelander is going to get,” Sorenson said. “It’s not only me but I’ve got 190 other lawyers plus a full library, plus research assistance, plus paralegals. And with electronics, it means I can sit here in the council chambers, and I can bring up all that information.”
Sorenson’s employment officially began Sept. 24. In addition to providing legal advice to the city, he said he is looking forward to getting to know Rhinelander even better and enjoying additional time at his cabin.