Trial Division Director
Jennifer Bias joined the agency in 1987 as an assistant state public defender. She has served in a variety of leadership and litigation positions and was promoted to her current positions in June 2000.
Previously, Jennifer served as First Assistant State Public Defender in Racine from 1995 to 2000 and Deputy First Assistant State Public Defender from 1993 to 1995. As an Assistant State Public Defender, Jennifer handled a broad range of cases including felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile matters and commitments. She previously served on the Pardon Advisory Board, the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Commission, the Commission to Reduce Racial Disparity in the Wisconsin Criminal Justice System and the subsequent Oversight Commission, and the Governor's Task Force on Racial Profiling. Jennifer served on a number of other boards including the Board of Governors for the Racine County Bar Association, Good Samaritan Board, and the Junior League Advisory Board.
In 2004, Jennifer was an unsuccessful candidate for Racine Circuit County Judge. Also in 2004, she was appointed to serve as a team member to investigate conduct matters at Southern Oaks Girls School. Jennifer has presented at the annual public defender conference on a variety of topics. She currently presents the “Best Defense Is No Offense” program to young people at schools, churches and community centers urging them to avoid violence, gangs and drugs.
In recognition of her outstanding commitment to community service, Jennifer received the Racine Journal Times Award in February 2003. She has also received the Racine Interfaith Coalition Freedom Award (February 2002), the NAACP Attorney Ted Harris Award (October 2001), and the YWCA Women of Distinction Award (August 2001). Jennifer received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1984 where she graduated magna cum laude, and received her law degree from the University of Iowa Law School in 1987.