Meet 2016 Forward under 40 Award recipient AnneElise Goetz ’02

UW Major: Political Science
Age: 35 | San Diego
Attorney at Higgs, Fletcher & Mack Law Firm

It’s pretty easy to hear legal advice from attorney AnneElise Goetz these days. Through her regular national TV appearances and podcast episodes, she’s just a few clicks of the remote or mouse away. It’s all part of her unique style of pro bono service: conducting a widespread “legal education campaign” through the media. Her desire to think differently in order to help others began on the UW-Madison campus.

“My friends, my classmates, and most importantly, my professors at Wisconsin pushed me and challenged me to get ‘out of the box’ and serve the greater good,” she says. “The shift in mindset throughout those years in Madison from me to us changed the direction of my life.”

After graduating from the UW, Goetz earned her law degree from Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University, where she was a member of the Niagara Moot Court Team and the recipient of the Saul S. Biskind Fellowship — an honor awarded each year based on academic achievement and interest in public service.

“My friends, my classmates, and most importantly, my professors at Wisconsin pushed me and challenged me to get ‘out of the box’ and serve the greater good.”

Goetz is now a partner at Higgs Fletcher & Mack, one of San Diego’s oldest and most respected law firms, where her specialties range from complex, multi-million-dollar corporate deals to representing family-owned companies in business disputes. She has been recognized as one of San Diego’s Best of the Bar for her real estate law work and dedication to public service.

Goetz appears weekly on HLN’s Dr. Drew and on Fox television networks to provide viewers with legal tips and insights. She also writes and produces her own podcast called AnneElise Goetz Your Life and the Law to help listeners with major legal issues.

“Over the years, I’ve found that Americans don’t understand the law, and frankly, can’t afford to hire an attorney to explain the pitfalls,” she says. “In a nutshell, I’m trying to find my own way to contribute to the collective us.”

In addition to her legal education campaign, Goetz also embodies the Wisconsin Idea by helping women to seek out leadership positions in government, law, and business. She has organized political “boot camps” to help women run for office. She served as chair of the leadership development committee for San Diego’s Lawyers Club, where she developed and led events and programs to help place women on boards and develop their skills.

“I strongly believe that when the community sees females in positions of power, like the bench, it elevates the status of women in both the public and private sectors,” she says.

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