Attention Pro Bono Volunteers:

Please remember that you must complete the Canvas ethics training course prior to commencing training for, or volunteering at, your placement. Any hours you may have earned prior to completing the ethics course cannot be counted toward Pro Bono Society membership.

Please contact Associate Director Lindsay Slaker at lslaker@wisc.edu with any questions relating to pro bono projects or the Pro Bono Society. 

 

Summer 2024 Opportunities

Center for Patient Partnerships

LIFT Wisconsin (Legal Interventions for Transforming Wisconsin)
LIFT Wisconsin provides legal services at community-based pop-up legal clinics. LIFT Wisconsin helps people restore suspended driver's licenses, assisting people identify other legal problems they may have, and referring them to further legal services and employment support. Students are supervised by clinical faculty at the Center for Patient Partnerships and the Neighborhood Law Clinic and staff attorneys at community-based partner organizations.

    • Approximate hours of work requested: Students are asked to commit to at least 9 hours over the semester, which would be a 3-hour training, plus volunteering at 2 clinics.
    • Location: Pop up clinics are from 3-6pm on Thursdays.
    • Training: All volunteers must complete a three-hour training on reinstating driver’s licenses.  Additional training will be provided as new modules are rolled out.
    • Desired course or clinic experience: No specific course or clinic experience required. Training will be provided. All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
    • To participate: Contact attorney Sachin Gupte for more information.

Community Immigration Law Center (CILC)

Community Immigration Law Center    
Christ Presbyterian Church    
944 E. Gorham St.    
Madison, WI 53703   

Phone: 608-640-4447

CILC provides legal information regarding immigration to individuals and groups who might otherwise not have access to the legal system. CILC does this through walk-in legal clinics, know-your-rights presentations, and other community outreach activities. More information can be found on this CILC Volunteer flyer (PDF). CILC grew out of a series of meetings with people from various legal, social, and faith-based organizations who shared a concern about the lack of affordable legal services for noncitizens in our community.

  1. CILC Consultation Day:
    Volunteers conduct intakes on behalf of CILC attorneys with walk-in clients. Foreign language skills are not required, though preferred.

    • Schedule:
      • June 14 (1pm-5pm)
      • June 28 (morning shift: 9am-12pm, Spanish speakers only; afternoon shift: 1-5pm)
      • July 12 (1pm-5pm)
      • July 26 (1pm-5pm)
    • Location: Christ Presbyterian Church (address above)
    • Training: Trainings are held in-person several times throughout the year. A recording is available if a volunteer is unable to attend a live training.
    • To participate: Contact attorney Natalia Lucak for more information.

  2. Pro Se Asylum Clinic:
    CILC seeks Spanish-speaking student volunteers to assist with the Pro Se Asylum Clinic. Volunteers will work in pairs to help participants complete the asylum application form. Spanish fluency is strongly preferred.

    • Schedule: 
      • June 5 (morning shift: 9am-1pm; afternoon shift: 12:30-4:30pm)
      • June 26 (morning shift: 9am-1pm; afternoon shift: 12:30-4:30pm)
      • July 10 (morning shift: 9am-12:30pm; afternoon shift: 12:30-4pm)
    • Training: Volunteers must watch a 1-hour webinar training on asylum and how to complete the asylum application. Volunteers are also asked to review materials that are used during the clinic.
    • Location: Christ Presbyterian Church (address above)
    • To participate: Contact attorney Natalia Lucak for more information. 

Dane County Bar Association Legal Clinics

Dane County Bar Association Legal Clinics
Dane County Courthouse (or Virtual)
215 S. Hamilton Street
Madison, WI 53706

The Dane County Bar Association offers several programs which provide community members with legal information, free of charge. The programs are staffed by volunteer lawyers, paralegals, and law students.

  1. The Estate Planning Clinic
    The Estate Planning Clinic operates in person several Saturdays throughout the year. Volunteers assist low-income individuals prepare basic estate planning documents. 

    • Date(s): Saturday, June 22 from 8:30am-12pm 
    • Location: St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 4011 Major Ave., Madison, WI 53716
    • Training: Students view a 30-minute training video about the program.  Students must also sign a confidentiality agreement.
    • Desired course or clinic experience: All grade levels (1L-3L) are welcome, and no prior experience is necessary.
    • To participate: Interested students in the Estate Planning Clinic should contact Jennifer Binkley

  2. The Veteran’s Law Center (VLC) 
    VLC operates virtually and in person. Volunteers give information on court procedures, refer clients to community resources, provide legal advice and assistance, and help complete forms and provide filing instructions alongside a volunteer attorney.

    • Location: Virtually or at the Dane County Courthouse (address above)
    • Training: Students complete a 1-hour mandatory training session on clinic procedures, professional responsibility, ethics, and a general overview of VLC.  Students must also sign a confidentiality agreement.
    • Desired course or clinic experience: All grade levels (1L-3L) are welcome, and no prior experience is necessary.
    • To participate: Contact DCBA Legal Clinics for the training information.

Free Legal Answers

Learn various areas of law by conducting research to assist attorneys in answering citizen questions posted to the Free Legal Answers website, hosted by the American Bar Association.

  • Structure: You will sign up for 2-3 weeks to be “on call” during the summer. During those “on call” weeks, you may be assigned a question by a volunteer attorney. Your question will be assigned between Monday and Wednesday during your “on call” week; your draft answer is due back to the volunteer attorney within 48 hours of receipt. This is intentional, to mimic real-world practice where clients expect a timely response. The volunteer attorney will review your draft, make any changes necessary, and submit it back to the client through Free Legal Answers. The attorney will share their final response with you and give feedback on your draft. We are using the phrase “on call” and that you “may” be assigned a question because of the nature of the Free Legal Answers site. There may be weeks where there are no questions available or appropriate for a student to draft. That is why we are asking that students sign up for 2-3 weeks this summer, so that there is a greater likelihood that you will receive a question.
  • Content: The volunteer attorneys are not looking for lengthy memos. Often, responses are only a few sentences. If a question depends on a lot of other factors or is too complex for a quick response, your response may simply be referring the client to different agencies or resources that are more equipped to help.
  • Time commitment: 1-2 hours per question. You may sign up for 2-3 “on call” weeks during the semester. The program will run from 6/3 – 8/15.
  • Location: Virtual. All work performed independently and correspondence is over email.
  • Experience required: None. Open to all grade levels.
  • Skills gained from this experience: Working on a deadline; writing concisely; summarizing complex legal information in a way that clients from non-legal backgrounds can understand; client communication.
  • Areas of law: family law, small claims, business law, contracts, general litigation.
  • To participate: Click here to fill out a form expressing your interest. Calendar sign-up will be distributed by the end of May.

Legal Action of Wisconsin (LAW)

Legal Action of Wisconsin (LAW)
744 Williamson Street, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53703
855-947-2529

Legal Action of Wisconsin (LAW) is the state’s largest non-profit law firm providing free civil legal services to Wisconsin clients at the most vulnerable times in their lives. For more than 50 years, we’ve changed and improved lives by making sure the civil legal system works for everyone.

 1. Pro bono debtor rights program

UW Law and Legal Action have teamed up to counsel low-income individuals about bankruptcy and other tools to address creditor harassment.  Student volunteers assist volunteer attorneys with telephone counseling sessions and client follow-up.  

      • Approximate hours of work requested: Friday mornings from 10am-12pm
      • Location: Remote. Though students who are present in Madison can also volunteer to work with Legal Action staff to help prepare bankruptcy petitions. 
      • Commitment: Students are asked to commit to at least one two-hour volunteer session during the summer, but students can also volunteer more frequently.   
         
        ** A required Zoom training for new volunteers will take place from 10am-noon on Thursday, May 30.  Please email megan.mcdermott@wisc.edu if you would like more information about the program or would like the Zoom link and training materials.

2. Background Check/Driver's License Clinics

Virtual Opportunities (sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4eaeae2aabfdc61-virtual#/)

  • May 30, 1-4pm
  • June 11, 1-4pm
  • July 23, 12-3pm
  • August 7, 1-4pm

In-Person Opportunity, located at 2222 S. Park Street, 1st Floor (sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409054BABA828AAF85-47034578-urban#/)

  • July 11, 1-4pm

Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics (MVLC)

Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics (MVLC)
The Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics (MVLC) provide free brief legal advice and referral services on civil legal matters including but not limited to: family law including divorce, child support, placement, custody; evictions & housing law; eviction records; debt/collections; small claims; small business; guardianship; probate; and more. The clinics are staffed by volunteer law students and attorneys.

Wisconsin Wills for Heroes

State Bar of Wisconsin 
P.O. Box 7158
Madison, WI 53707

Through the Wisconsin Wills for Heroes Program, volunteer lawyers, law students, notaries, and witnesses participate in clinics scheduled for first responder organizations throughout Southern Wisconsin. At these events, volunteer lawyers and students prepare wills and other estate planning documents free of charge for eligible first responders and their spouses or domestic partners.

The national Wills for Heroes program was created by the Wills for Heroes Foundation after September 11, 2001 and is designed to assist emergency personnel in preparing basic estate planning documents to protect themselves and their families. Wills for Heroes in Wisconsin is sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin's Pro Bono Program, with the generous support of Foley and Lardner LLP, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, LexisNexis and the State Bar Young Lawyers Division.

  • Schedule:
    • Dates: May 29 and May 30, 4-7pm
    • Location: 3520 30th Ave., Kenosha, WI 53144
  • Event operation: First responders complete an estate planning questionnaire and watch an estate planning video prior to their appointment with the attorney volunteer. The attorney volunteers use customized software to create each first responder's estate plan. At subsequent stations, the estate planning documents are witnessed and notarized.
  • Training: Complete the online ethics course prior to volunteering at a clinic. Law students will be paired with volunteer attorneys for training. Law students may also attend a clinic to observe prior to volunteering.
  • Location: The in-person clinics rotate locations at various police departments in the Madison area. Visit their website to view upcoming clinic locations.
  • Desired course or clinic experience: No estate planning experience required, but 2s and 3Ls who have successfully completed Trusts and Estates are preferred.
  • To participate: Contact attorney Kass Longie with your desired clinic date and experience with estate planning or the clinics. Students, please do not register for a clinic as an attorney before contacting Attorney Longie.

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