Board of Directors
Wisconsin Justice Initiative
Board Treasurer and Secretary
Board Treasurer and Secretary
Attorney Jacqueline Boynton has more than 30 years experience. Her practice concentrates on nonprofit corporate legal issues. Boynton is a community activist interested in progressive political organizing and women’s issues.
Tim Burns is a partner at the Madison law firm of Burns Bowen Bair, which he founded. Prior to that, he was a partner at Perkins Coie LLP. He is the former co-chair of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association. He has been involved in many professional organizations, and serves on the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Board of Directors.
Joseph J. Czarnezki was elected to the Milwaukee County Board in 2020. Prior to that, he served as Milwaukee County Clerk from 2008 to 2016. He also has served in the Wisconsin Assembly and Wisconsin Senate. Czarnezki worked for the City of Milwaukee in a number of capacities, including deputy director of the Department of Administration, health commissioner, intergovernmental relations director, executive director of the Fire and Police Commission, and budget director.
James Gramling is a retired Milwaukee Municipal Court judge long active in local and state justice issues. Before he was elected to the bench, he worked at the Legal Aid Society in Kansas City, MO, and then Milwaukee Legal Services (later Legal Action of Wisconsin). He has served as the president of the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission and as a volunteer with the Center for Driver's License Recovery and Employability.
Craig Johnson, an attorney with the Milwaukee law firm of Sweet and Associates, has been practicing criminal law for 20 years. He also handles employment and labor law. Craig is a frequent presenter at continuing legal education seminars.
Gabriela Leija joined the Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin team in November of 2016. Gabriela’s passion for criminal defense began over a decade ago. She has served the indigent population of Milwaukee as a legal assistant, client services specialist, and finally as an attorney for the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office. She is a 2014 graduate of Marquette University Law School.
Edgar Lin is an attorney and state policy advocate at Protect Democracy. He previously worked at Ahmad & Associates and the Buting, Williams, & Stilling law firms, practicing civil rights and criminal law. Prior to that he was a public defender in the Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office, Milwaukee Trial Division. In 2014, he was named an Up and Coming Lawyer by the Wisconsin Law Journal. Before attending the University of Wisconsin Law School, he worked in the financial sector in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Raphael Ramos is the director of Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Eviction Defense Project. Raphael graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2008 and worked as an environmental attorney with Quarles & Brady for six years and GE Healthcare for two years before joining Legal Action in 2016. Throughout his career, Raphael has emphasized the pro bono component of his practice through clinic work and extended representation in volunteer prisoner rights and landlord-tenant cases.
Emma Shakeshaft is a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union – Wisconsin. Her focus areas are racial justice, criminal justice, the criminalization of poverty, and policing. Emma is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. She also holds a doctorate and a master's degree in sociology from UW-Madison.
Margo Kirchner, executive director of WJI, previously was a career law clerk for several federal judges. In 2018 and again in 2021. she was elected as a State Bar of Wisconsin representative to the Wisconsin Judicial Council. She is a past president of the Association for Women Lawyers and the Concord Chamber Orchestra and chairs the AWL Foundation Board. Kirchner serves as one of 12 nationally chosen members of the U.S. Courts' Electronic Public Access Public User Group. In 2020 she was elected Village of Shorewood municipal judge.
Gretchen Schuldt, researcher and writer for WJI, worked for 20 years as a reporter and editor for the Milwaukee Sentinel and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where she covered a wide variety of beats, including federal courts and Milwaukee County civil courts. She also worked for 13 years for Milwaukee Public Schools as a fiscal policy analyst and grants development coordinator.