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Category: Pro bono

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12 Months of Free Legal Answers in Wisconsin

Over the last 12 months (through June 30, 2022) volunteer lawyers have assisted 1,638 individuals and families with their legal issues through Wisconsin Free Legal Answers. With over 360 registered volunteer attorneys, the project is a significant resource for Wisconsin residents who are unable to access other options for legal advice. Wisconsin Free Legal Answers is an online brief legal advice clinic sponsored and administered by the Wisconsin Access to

In praise of volunteers

Volunteer attorneys are a critical part of how we deliver access to justice in Wisconsin. There are not enough staff attorneys in our legal aid offices and public defender program to represent or advise everyone who qualifies for their help. So, we actively encourage lawyers to volunteer their time to help fill this gap and find a way to volunteer. Every year, we also publish the list of attorneys who

Free Legal Answers 2021 in Review

Wisconsin Free Legal Answers continues to provide a convenient way for qualifying Wisconsin residents to request free legal advice from volunteer lawyers. Throughout the pandemic, pro bono lawyers have volunteered their time to answer basic legal questions about civil law topics. We ended 2021 on another high note. Our volunteers answered 1,771 legal questions last year. Over 345 Wisconsin lawyers have signed up to volunteer with this program. We always welcome

2021 Pro Bono Honor Society Nominations Sought

Attorneys who have provided at least 50 hours of qualifying pro bono services in 2021 are eligible for the 2021 Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society. Honorees will be recognized on the Access to Justice Commission website and in the June 2022 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer™ magazine. All you need to do to be recognized is certify that you or another attorney whom you know met the program’s standard. Find out

Free Legal Answers Year in Review (2020)

It’s been remarkable to see how Wisconsin Free Legal Answers has grown in scope and importance during 2020. We are a virtual brief legal advice service for people who have questions about civil (non-criminal) problems. So, when almost everything else shut down in the spring, our volunteers were often the only resource left for people who couldn’t afford to hire a lawyer when they faced a civil legal problem. We saw our monthly

Free Legal Answers Pandemic Update

Wisconsin Free Legal Answers, the online legal clinic sponsored by the Commission, has been a key component of the legal community’s pandemic response. As Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order went into effect, all free legal clinics and self-help desks were quickly shuttered. Courts restricted who could enter to file documents or ask questions. All civil legal aid offices closed their offices to visitors and most also stopped taking on new

New video – What is civil legal aid and why is it so important?

Here is a great example of how to explain what civil legal aid is and why it’s so important. It’s a network of resources that help make justice available to everyone, not just those who can afford to pay for it. The video was produced by the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation and is distributed with assistance from Voices for Civil Justice and the Kresge Foundation.

Free Legal Answers Update

Wisconsin Free Legal Answers (WFLA) is having a good year thanks to the great efforts of our volunteers. WFLA is the online legal clinic established by the Commission in partnership with ABA Free Legal Answers to provide an opportunity for qualifying Wisconsin residents to get answers to basic civil legal questions from volunteer attorneys. Since its launch in 2016, more than 1800 Wisconsin residents have used WFLA to ask over

Wisconsin Free Legal Answers 2017 in Review

Wisconsin Free Legal Answers continues to provide an easy way for the public to ask civil legal questions and for volunteer lawyers to respond. Our first full year of operating as part of the national ABA Free Legal Answers network has been outstanding. We proved that an online legal clinic model can work in Wisconsin. Here is what the success of our volunteers looks like:

Legislative Council adopts access to justice recommendations

The Legislative Council met on February 15 and voted to accept both the report and the recommendations from its Study Committee on Access to Civil Legal Services. The three legislative proposals will: Create legislation encouraging the state departments of Administration, Children & Families, Workforce Development, Justice, and Health Services to use a portion of the federal block grants they receive to assist with the civil legal needs of Wisconsin residents. Create an Interagency Legal