Jessa Nicholson Goetz

Top rated Criminal Defense attorney in Madison, Wisconsin

Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C.
Jessa Nicholson Goetz
Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C.

Practice Areas: Criminal Defense, Family Law; view more

Licensed in Wisconsin since: 2006

Education: University of Wisconsin Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2023

Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C.

22 East Mifflin Street
Suite 90
Madison, WI 53703 Visit website


Jessa Nicholson Goetz is a partner at Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C., located in Madison, Wisconsin. Focusing her practice on criminal defense, she represents clients throughout the state who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors including homicide, battery, sexual assault, drug distribution and possession, reckless endangerment and extortion.

Ms. Nicholson received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, graduating magna cum laude in 2003 with a dual major in economics and history of art. As an undergraduate, she worked as an advocate in a local domestic violence shelter. She then went on to attend the University of Wisconsin Law School. Named to the dean's list in the fall of 2003, she graduated cum laude and received her Juris Doctor in 2006. While in law school, Ms. Nicholson served as an intern at the Kenosha branch of the Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office. She has been with Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C., since her graduation.

Ms. Nicholson is an annual speaker at her alma mater's Women Law Students Association and has led seminars on a variety of criminal defense matters for the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, of which she has been a member since 2006. The organization further honored Ms. Nicholson in 2013 by presenting her with the Martin Hanson Memorial Prize.

Since 2009, Ms. Nicholson has served as coordinator for the Dane County Criminal Defense Project. Highly regarded by her fellow professionals, she has received a 10.0 "Superb" peer review rating through Avvo, and in 2010, she was given the Warrior Award by the Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Named to The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100, Ms. Nicholson is an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Dane County Bar Association and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. 

Practice areas

Criminal Defense, Family Law

Focus areas

Child Support, Criminal Domestic Violence, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Custody & Visitation, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Drug & Alcohol Violations, False Accusations, Felony, Juvenile Delinquency, Misdemeanor, Murder, Parole, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Probation, Theft, Traffic Violations

  • 80% Criminal Defense
  • 20% Family Law

First Admitted: 2006, Wisconsin

Professional Webpage:

Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Domestic Violence Project/SAFE House, Washtenaw County, Michigan, from 2000-2003
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Speaker, Women Law Student Association, University of Wisconsin - Madison Law School since 2011
  • Wisconsin State Journal
Educational Background:
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, B.A., magna cum laude, Major: Economics, Major: History of Art
  • Named on the Dean's List of academic achievement in the fall, 2003
  • Named One of Wisconsin's Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, 2014
  • Warrior Award (Outstanding Work in Criminal Defense), 2015
  • 10 Best - Client Satisfaction, American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, 2015
  • Top 40 Under 40, The National Trial Lawyers, 2014
  • Warrior of the Year, DCCDLA, 2015
  • Warrior Award, Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2010
  • The Advocate’s Prize/Hanson Memorial Award from WACDL, 2013
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Dane County Bar Association, Member, 2006 - Present
  • Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member, 2006 - Present
  • Wisconsin, 2006
  • Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Vice President, 2015
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member

Office location for Jessa Nicholson Goetz

22 East Mifflin Street
Suite 90
Madison, WI 53703

Phone: 608-597-6733

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