William Lipscomb


(414) 288-4037
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Criminology and Law Studies
Lalumiere Language Hall, 108



My day job is that of a federal prosecutor. Before being appointed as an Assistant US Attorney in 1989, I received a law degree from the University of Wisconsin and soon after began a 3-year stint as a prosecutor in Seattle, Washington, and have since served as a prosecutor in state and federal courts for more than 25 years, handling more than 120 jury trials.


Most of my career as a prosecutor has been focused on gang, drug, and gun cases. I came to the US Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee just as the crack cocaine epidemic and the surge of gun violence that came with it, hit Milwaukee. I have prosecuted hundreds of gang members and drug traffickers under federal drug, gun, and racketeering laws. In putting these prosecutions together, I have interviewed hundreds of gang members and major drug traffickers.


I have served as the manager of the US Attorney’s narcotics unit as well as the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in the eastern half of Wisconsin; I also chaired the Executive Board of the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area – a consortium of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents and prosecutors. From 1996 through 2000, I coordinated the Milwaukee Safe Streets Initiative, implementing a $2.5 million dollar federal grant to address gang crime in Milwaukee through coordinated enforcement, prevention, and reentry efforts. I have worked on a federal reentry program called “START,” applying a drug-court model to the reentry of high risk gang and drug offenders from federal prison into the Milwaukee community.


I bring these interests and experience into the classroom. I teach a Drug Crime and Policy class in which we ask essential questions about legalization and how to achieve a more thoughtful allocation of scarce resources between law enforcement, prevention, and treatment. I also teach a class called “Ultimate Penalties” that explores the evolution of the use of the death penalty and life in prison over the last 200 years. I look forward to continuing to learn with my students at Marquette.


Contact the Department of
Social and Cultural Sciences

Lalumiere Language Hall, Room 340
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
Phone: (414) 288-6838 | Fax: (414) 288-6444