James M. Carroll

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Jim’s practice focuses on municipal labor & employment law and public and private sector employee benefits. He advises clients in areas including qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, labor negotiations, contract interpretation, grievance arbitration, wage and hour issues, discipline and discharge, personnel policies, medical leaves, and reasonable accommodations.

Prior to joining Buelow Vetter, Jim was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Milwaukee and an Assistant Corporation Counsel for Milwaukee County. As an in-house government attorney Jim advised clients in a broad array of areas including defined benefit and defined contribution plans, employment and human resources matters, contracting and procurement, and worker’s compensation, among others. Jim has represented municipal clients in state and federal court and in a variety of administrative proceedings. He has successfully argued on behalf of government entities before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.


  • JD, cum laude, Marquette Law School
    • CALI Awards: Torts, Education Law, Workers Compensation, Employment Law
    • Marquette Law Review, Senior Note & Comment Editor
    • Marquette Law Review, Silver Quill Award for Outstanding Student Writing
  • BA, English, magna cum laude, Marquette University
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Alpha Signa Nu (Jesuit honor society)
  • Bar Admissions:
    • State Bar of Wisconsin
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Up Close & Personal

  • What is your favorite movie about lawyers and why?

    I don’t watch many lawyer movies/shows, but my favorite on-screen lawyer is Fred Gailey, who establishes that his client, Kris Kringle, is the “one and only Santa Claus” in the 1947 classic “Miracle on 34th Street.”

  • Do you have a pet? What kind of pet? What is its name?

    We have two foolish and entertaining cats, a calico female named Lyra and a grey tabby male named Tybalt

  • Do you have children? Tell us about them.

    My son Conor is a sophomore engineering student at UW-Madison and my daughter Kiara is a yoga teacher in Madison.

  • What is your favorite movie and why?

    My favorite movie is “The Empire Strikes Back,” but the best movie I have ever seen is “The Godfather, Part II.” Both movies are about turning to the dark side, but only “Empire” leaves open the possibility of redemption.

  • What do you do for fun?

    Read, play tennis, go to the gym, watch sports (football, baseball, soccer, basketball), look at birds, occasionally ride my BMX bike and pretend I am still 11.

  • What is your favorite vacation destination?


  • What is your dream vacation destination?

    New Zealand (and yes, this is in no small part because of “The Lord of the Rings” movies).

  • What is your favorite book and why?

    Fiction: “The Great Gatsby,” while a simple story, changes dramatically every time I read it. Non-Fiction: Robert Caro’s “The Years of Lyndon Johnson,” despite its length and level of detail, is never dull and invariably insightful.

  • What music or artist would we find in your CD player?

     Hair metal (Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, etc.), old school rap/hip-hop (Ice Cube, Public Enemy, etc.), Metallica, Johnny Cash, The Killers, movie soundtracks, Irish folk music

  • If I left the practice of law today, I would become…

    I was a teacher before I became a lawyer, and I would likely return to that field in some capacity or another.

  • What is your favorite TV show and why?

    We live in a golden age of television, but I will limit myself to two, both of which focus on the Cold War in one way or another: “The Americans” and “Stranger Things.” Also “Mad Men” . . . and “Breaking Bad.” That’s four; I’ll stop now.

  • What is the last magazine you read?

    Phil Steele’s College Football Preview and The Economist

  • Favorite snack - salty or sweet?

    Sweet; more specifically, Russell Stover pectin jellybeans.

  • Name one of your athletic accomplishments.

    All Central Suburban League (IL) football, 1993.

  • What was your very first job?

    My first job was washing towels and cleaning up the locker rooms at an athletic club in Niles, IL. The pay wasn’t great, but I was allowed to take free cans of Gatorade from the vending machines.

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