State Bar Awards Grants to new Veteran's Legal Clinic and Pro Bono Society

The State Bar Legal Assistance Committee has awarded Pro Bono Initiative grants to Dane County Veterans Legal Clinic to start a free legal clinic and to the UW Law School to recruit law students to work on pro bono matters.

The Dane County Veterans Legal Clinic received a grant to start a new free legal clinic for veterans in the Dane County area. The project is administered by the UW Law School’s Pro Bono Program and is a collaborative effort with initial support from the Dane County Veterans Service Office, the State Bar of Wisconsin pro bono program, representatives from the Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, and the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program. Volunteer attorneys and law students will staff the clinic at the local veterans service office in Madison. The project is modeled on a similar effort in Milwaukee. The clinic aims to launch by Veterans Day, Nov. 12, 2012.

The UW Law School received a grant to help launch its new Pro Bono Society. With the assistance of the law school’s new pro bono coordinator Ann Zimmerman, and an Americorps VISTA coordinator Julia Zwak, the law school is implementing an ambitious effort to recruit and recognize law student pro bono efforts. The program recruits volunteer attorneys to work with law students on pro bono matters. Additional special events will be organized throughout the school year to engage more law students in pro bono service. Students completing 50 hours of pro bono legal services during law school will be inducted into the Pro Bono Society and receive special recognition at graduation.

The State Bar Pro Bono Initiative is a statewide-coordinated program to support, recognize, and increase lawyers’ volunteer legal efforts. In collaboration with the judiciary, legal services providers, and local bar organizations, the initiative works to improve public access to the legal system by promoting solutions that eliminate barriers to effective access to the civil justice system.

Submitted by Law School News on March 12, 2012

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