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About the Consumer Law Clinic

The Consumer Law Clinic (CLC) aims to improve the community in two invaluable ways:

• by providing legal assistance to Wisconsin residents faced with consumer debt and;
• by providing law students with an opportunity to develop and apply legal and interpersonal skills necessary for effective representation.
The CLC focuses on debt defense and earnings garnishment protections.

Information for Students

Consumer Law Clinic students are saying:

"...join the CLC because you will gain real world legal experience while also making a difference in the lives of Wisconsin consumers!"

“The CLC is the best part of my Law School experience. Applying what I’ve learned in the classroom and working with a dynamic and supportive group has been an amazing opportunity for growth. I’ve really enjoyed the chance to learn and grow while giving back to the community.”

“…the CLC experience has been my greatest teacher by far.” “Throughout my 1L year, I began to lose sight of why I wanted to become a lawyer. The CLC reaffirmed my reasons. I work directly with clients. I also affect the ‘big picture’ by standing up for consumers in the legislative process, increasing access to the courts, and raising awareness of consumer rights.”

“The chance to represent my client in court and see justice done cannot be beat!”

Consumer Law Clinic students explore how the legal system creates and sustains economic injustice. Specifically, the students:

• Handle all aspects of the CLC’s work.
• Gain key professional skills such as interviewing, investigating facts, communicating with a variety of audiences, researching and applying statutes, representing clients in adversarial proceedings, and working with a team.
• Become well-informed consumers themselves.
• Discuss contemporary issues in consumer protection.

The CLC will be offered for the fall and spring semesters, for a total of 6 experiential learning credits. Students must enroll for 3 credits for both semesters. The CLC does not satisfy the Law School Upper-level Writing Requirement.

Director Sarah Orr loves to talk about the CLC with students! Contact her at: sarah.orr@wisc.edu.

Information for the Public

The Consumer Law Clinic (CLC) focuses on debt defense and helping Wisconsin consumers protect their earnings from garnishment. Clients receive services from trained Clinical Law Students with close attorney supervision.

If you are being sued for consumer debt or are experiencing unfair debt collection practices, please use the form below to request an intake appointment with a clinical law student.  

If your earnings are being garnished or are at risk of being garnished, you can use the form below to request an intake appointment or you can visit our free walk-in garnishment consultation clinics held at the Village on Park at 2238 S. Park Street in Madison at the following times (through April 21, 2023):

Please bring at least 2 recent pay stubs and any papers you have received about garnishment.

The Consumer Law Clinic does not provide information, assistance, or referrals for bankruptcy.

Individuals seeking services can call 608-263-6283. If you would rather we reach out to you instead, you can fill out the form linked below. 

Additional legal Resources

If your legal problem does not fit into one of the three categories listed in the above section, the Consumer Law Clinic cannot handle your matter. Please contact the State Bar of Wisconsin at (800) 362-9082, (608) 257-4666, or online at https://www.wisbar.org for referrals to other legal services providers. You may also consult Wisconsin Free Legal Answers online at https://wi.freelegalanswers.org.

You may also reach out to the Wisconsin State Law Library or review the Directory of Self-Help Legal Resources in Wisconsin from the Wisconsin Court System's Self-help law center.

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