Will McKinley

President & Managing Shareholder
Appleton Chilton Marinette Oconto

Areas of Practice

Agribusiness Agribusiness Consulting of All Types Business Succession Planning Farm Transfers and Succession Planning General Litigation Real Estate, Business & Other Transactions Wills, Trusts, and Estate Plans


Though I was born and raised in the cornfields of Western Illinois, I have been proud (except during winter!) to call Northeast Wisconsin home for over fifteen years.  I am the President of the Firm, overseeing the day-to-day affairs of our multiple locations, and I practice with Menn’s Business Practice Group.  I graduated with honors from both Marquette University undergraduate and law school, and as a result, while the rest of the state bleeds red, I bleed blue and gold.

I devote a large portion of my legal practice towards serving my business and corporate clients, especially those in the agri-business, medical, and dental fields, helping them tackle real estate, corporate, contract, succession, and sale/acquisition issues. I also have significant litigation experience, partnering with my litigation colleagues in taking on a wide variety of cases in state circuit and federal district court, along with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. I have also appeared before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. I routinely serve as local counsel for large corporations dealing with litigation in courts throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

Every Friday you can catch my regular morning segment calledLawyer Up!”, with “Matt, Rob, and the Morning News” on News Radio WTAQ (97.5 FM/wtaq.com). To listen to prior segments, click here.

I have been recognized as a “Future 15” Young Professional by the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, have been selected as a Super Lawyer – Rising Star in 2017 – 2021, and a Super Lawyer in 2022 and 2023.

Prior to practicing law, I served a two-year stint as a corps member with Teach for America, serving as a high school special education teacher in Crownpoint, N.M. My wife (a patron saint) and I, along with my family circus, reside in Appleton. During those hours when I am not practicing law or managing the firm, you can find me shuttling kids to various activities, or otherwise I am typically found destroying (quite literally) the golf course at North Shore Golf Club.

“The old saying is that where there’s a Will, there’s a way. As a lawyer, the best part of my job is helping clients find solutions to problems thought to be unsurpassable. Working with me, I will do whatever I can to help you or your organization find your way.”


  • Administrative Challenges
  • Appeals
  • Condominiums
  • Contract Disputes
  • Contracts
  • Corporate and Limited Liability Company Law
  • Corporate/Partnership Disputes
  • Employment and HR Guidance
  • Entity Formation and Organizational Planning
  • Family LLC's to Hold Vacation Property
  • Healthcare Law
  • Leases
  • Local Counsel Services
  • Marital Property Agreements
  • Non-Profit Formation
  • Powers of Attorney and Living Wills
  • Real Estate Development Projects
  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Sales by Owner (FSBO)
  • Trademarks
  • Transactions
  • Trusts
  • Wills


Professional Organizations/Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, Office of Lawyer Regulation District 10 Committee
  • Secretary, Outagamie County Bar Association
  • Chairman, Outagamie County Condemnation Commission
  • Past Executive Board Member, Robert J. Parins Legal Society of Northeast Wisconsin
  • Board Member, Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association
  • Past Vice Chair, State Bar of Wisconsin Committee on Professional Ethics
  • Member, American Health Law Association

Activities & Achievements

Boards, Organizations, Clubs, Etc. (past and present)

  • Corporation Member, Bellin-Gunderson Health System
  • Past Parish Council Member, St. Bernadette Parish of Appleton
  • Treasurer Trustee, St. Bernadette Parish of Appleton
  • Past Secretary-Trustee, St. Clare Parish of Wrightstown
  • Past President, Wrightstown Lions Club
  • General Counsel and Executive Board Member, Bay Lakes Council of Boy Scouts
  • Member, Bellin Health Board Committee on System Healthcare Performance
  • Past Board Member, Bellin-ThedaCare Healthcare Partners
  • Board Member, Bellin Psychiatric Center
  • Board Member, Bellin Health Partners
  • Past President, Wisconsin Media Check Foundation, Inc.
  • Board Member, Free Speech for Campus, Inc.
  • Member, Xavier Catholic Schools Parish Relations Committee


  • Super Lawyer – Rising Star (2017-2021)
  • Super Lawyer (2022)
  • Fox Cities Chamber ” Future 15 Award Recipient (2016)
  • Bet The Company Litigator, 2019


“A professional colleague and friend recommended Will to me when I needed a tough and detail-oriented lawyer to represent me in a personnel matter against my employer. Will was all of that, and THEN SOME! Throughout the six months of negotiations with my employer’s attorney, Will always kept me informed and up-to-date on all important matters concerning my case. He even answered some of my “off-the-wall” questions with directness, and when necessary, a bit of “McKinley humor,” which I appreciated. At the end of the process, we executed an excellent settlement, hitting all of the important “targets” we needed. I would never hesitate to retain Will in the future, for any legal work, nor would I pause for a second, to recommend him to a friend or colleague.”
— Prof. Steve Brown, Ph.D.

“At one of the most unsettling times in my career, Attorney McKinley was there to guide me through a nasty contract dispute, and due to his keen knowledge of contact law, he facilitated the best possible financial outcome for me. Throughout the entire process, he was readily available via email or phone and was quick to respond to my questions and concerns. The peace of mind he gave me was priceless, and I will be forever grateful.”
— Kara Harbick, M.D.

“Will serves as our organization’s outside general counsel, providing a full range of legal services for us. He is always available when we need him, and provides us with common sense, understandable legal advice. Will always tries to find a pragmatic solution to every problem, and definitely tries to keep the big picture in mind, which is important from a business perspective. If your business or practice is looking for legal assistance, Will is definitely your go-to guy.”
— Eric Eberts, M.D., owner of Women’s Care of Wisconsin, S.C.

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