Meet Your DA – Lander County

William E. Schaeffer

Lander County District Attorney

Bill Schaeffer grew up in Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1979. His grandfather, Elmer Groefsema, grew up on a farm 200 miles North of Elko in Mountain Home, Idaho; but moved to Michigan and became a successful lawyer in Detroit. Elmer’s wife died while attending law school at the University of Michigan. They had 3 daughters survive childhood. One eventually became the president of a community college; the other 2 became the first sister judges in American history (one was Bill’s mother, Margaret). Following in these legal footsteps, Bill Schaeffer subsequently went to law school at the University of Toledo (OH) and graduated in the top half of his class in 1984. He was admitted to the practice of law in Michigan in 1985 and in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nevada in 1986. Bill worked as a solo private practice attorney, clerked in a municipal attorney’s office, and was an Assistant Prosecutor in Michigan before moving to Nevada in 1989. Since moving to Nevada, Bill has served as a Deputy D.A. in Lyon and Lander Counties; a contract, conflicts, public defender for Lander and Nye Counties; the elected D.A. of Eureka and Esmeralda Counties; the Justice of the Peace of Austin Township; a private practice attorney in Battle Mountain; and now will be the elected D.A. of Lander County. He has won 6 elections and has come up short 3 times. Bill served a term as the Vice President of the Nevada D.A.s Association in the 90s. He was twice nominated by the Judicial Selection Commission for District Judge vacancies, but Governor Sandoval selected others. Bill has been active in Lions International and served as the District Governor for all of the Nevada Lions Clubs from 2002-2003. He lives with his beloved doggies in Battle Mountain where he enjoys bicycling, hiking, and other activities. He has relatives in ID, CA, OR, WA, and CO as well as back East.