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Please be advised that contacting Ruder Ware by e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you contact the firm by e-mail with respect to a matter where the firm does not already represent you, any information which you disclose to us may not be regarded as privileged or confidential.


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Jessica A. Merkel

Professional Experience

Prior to becoming an attorney, Jessica worked in public sector leadership in both Human Services and Public Health.  She utilized skills developed through her Master of Social Work degree to advance relationships with families and strengthen community partnerships.  Jessica has advanced expertise working with families experiencing challenges with mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence. It’s because of these roles that she believes in clear communication and not relying on legalese to explain and outline options and solutions for clients.

At Ruder Ware, Jessica continues her passion for advocacy, this time for our elderly clients providing counsel on the use of irrevocable trusts for asset protection, medical assistance eligibility, and special needs trusts.  Jessica engages families by listening, empathizing, and  supporting their choices to achieve their goals.  In addition, she counsels clients on estate and trust planning, taxation, powers of attorney, probate, and trust administration.

A Marshfield native (and current resident), Jessica and her husband, Ryan, enjoy introducing the world to their toddler by attending community events, spending time outdoors, gardening, and fishing.

Education

  • B.S. (cum laude), University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, WI (2004)
  • M.S.W., Augsburg College - Minneapolis, MN (2008)
  • J.D. (magna cum laude), Mitchell Hamline School of Law - Saint Paul, MN (2018)

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Marathon County Bar Association

Certifications

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (2015 - present)
  • Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor (2010 - present)

Admitted to Practice

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court

Professional Activities

  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys - Member

Articles

  • Domestic Abuse can be a Life Sentence for Kids, featured in the Wausau Daily Herald - 10/4/16
  • Kids Exposed to Domestic Abuse are Traumatized, but There's Help in Marathon County, featured in the Wausau Daily Herald - 10/10/17

Presentations

Tax & Estate Planning Update, Ruder Ware Seminar - 4/26/18