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 2023 and Fall 2023 Opportunities

CASA of Dane & Columbia Counties

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Dane & Columbia Counties
2445 Darwin Rd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53704
Phone: 608-729-1136

The mission of CASA of Dane & Columbia Counties is to be an independent voice for abused and neglected children who are under the legal protection of the Dane & Columbia County Court Systems. CASA does this by training, supporting and supervising community-based volunteers who advocate for these children in the community and in the courts with the goal of establishing them in safe, permanent homes as soon as possible. 

Law student volunteer advocates will meet weekly with families with children under a CHIPS, JIPS or delinquency order. Students will write reports for social workers, guardians ad litem, attorneys, and judges on the family's progress and appear in court to advocate for the best interest of the child. CASA is particularly in need of male volunteers to meet a growing demand in cases involving boys and young men. More information about CASA can be found in the position description (PDF).

  • Approximate hours of work requested: Approximately 3 hours per week. Students must plan to participate for one full year.
  • Schedule: Once training is completed, the time commitment will consist of weekly visits with the family each volunteer is assigned to, travel time to and from those visits, and time spent documenting observations and writing reports. The timing of visits is dependent on the family's schedule. Most volunteers visit weekday afternoons and evenings, some do weekend or daytime visits. Volunteers can attend hearings, team meetings, and IEPs, which are conducted during regular business hours.
  • Training: A mandatory 30-hour training will be provided on: the Dane County legal system, cultural competency, domestic violence and other issues facing families. Students will also be trained to write reports to the court based on observations. Fall 2023 training dates will be announced soon. Please see the application and contact info below to express your interest.
  • Location: At various locations throughout Dane County such as the family's home or the child's school. Additional work will be performed at the CASA office (address above) and the Dane County Courthouse.
  • Transportation: Visits can happen on the bus line, but a personal vehicle would be helpful.
  • Desired course or clinic experience: All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To participate: Complete an online application and then contact Dane County CASA Program Director Cheri Dvorak to let her know that you're a pro bono student and that you've submitted an application for the program.

Center for Patient Partnerships

The Center for Patient Partnerships has 2 volunteer opportunities available, with LIFT Wisconsin (Legal Interventions for Transforming Wisconsin) and Legal Resource Navigators.

  1. 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. The rest of 2023 will be serving clients in Jefferson County. Dates and locations are below. 
      • May 18, 2023: Dwight Foster Public Library
      • June 15, 2023: Lake Mills Library
      • July 20, 2023: Watertown Public Library 
      • August 17, 2023: Dwight Foster Public Library 
      • September 21, 2023: Lake Mills Library
      • October 19, 2023: Watertown Public Library
      • November 16, 2023: Dwight Foster Public Library
      • December 21, 2023: Lake Mills Library
    • 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.
    • Transportation: A vehicle is required to travel to Jefferson County. Carpooling will also be coordinated.
    • Desired course or clinic experience: No specific course or clinic experience required. Training will be provided. Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
    • To participate: Contact attorney Sachin Gupte for more information.

  2. Legal Resource Navigators 
    Students work with patients to help them connect with needed community resources and follow-up with them regularly to help them stay healthy. Law students help patients with health-harming legal needs. Patients receive guidance as they navigate the web of social service and legal systems.

    • Approximate hours of work requested: 2-4 hours per week
    • Location: Remote
    • Training: Required to attend selected training sessions necessary for competency, become a UW Health Volunteer and Pro Bono ethics training. 
    • Desired course or clinic experience: Preference will be given to students who have client-services experience. Fluency in Spanish or other languages a significant plus, as well as experience working with people with disabilities. Open to 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls. 
    • To participate: Contact Paula Evenson for more information.

Community Immigration Law Center (CILC)

Community Immigration Law Center    
Location 1:
Christ Presbyterian Church    
944 E. Gorham St.    
Madison, WI 53703    

Location 2:
Centro Hispano
810 W. Badger Road
Madison, WI 53713

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

    • Schedule: 2nd and 4th Friday of the month Location: Christ Presbyterian Church (address above)
    • Approximate hours of work requested: 4 hours per shift (1pm-5pm)
    • Transportation: Accessible by foot or bus
    • Number of student volunteers requested: 5 to 6 students per shift.
    • 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 Aissa Olivarez 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 required.

    • Schedule: 1st Friday of every month 
    • Number of student volunteers requested: 5 to 6 students per shift
    • Approximate hours of work requested: 3.5 hours per shift (morning shift: 9am-12:30pm; afternoon shift: 12:30pm-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: Either Christ Presbyterian Church (address above) or Centro Hispano (address above)
    • To participate: Contact attorney Aissa Olivarez at aissa@cilcmadison.org. 

Community Justice Inc. (CJI)

Community Justice Inc.
214 N. Hamilton St. #101
Madison, WI 53713
608-442-3003

Community Justice's mission is to serve low- and moderate-income families and individuals in need of legal service through direct legal services, community awareness, educational programming. Their goal is to provide legal services at a rate drastically below the market cost of representation. They believe that through community collaboration they can advocate for the legal needs of low-income and under- represented people in the courtroom and community.

Law students will help increase access to the legal system for low-income and under-represented individuals by helping to provide direct legal services, community awareness educational programming and policy development advisory work. They will do this by doing intakes, assisting attorneys to prepare documents, doing research and more.

  • Schedule: Volunteer shifts are usually 9:00am-1:00pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm. 
  • Location: Community Justice (address above) but some off-site work may be possible.
  • Approximate hours of work requested: One 4-hour shift per week, though CJI is flexible.
  • Training: CJI will individually train all volunteer law students. Training is provided in intake procedure, general office procedures and protocol, including the preparation of documents. Written training materials are provided for reference in all matters volunteers work on, including detailed phone scripts to ensure conflict checks and eligibility checks are properly completed.
  • Transportation: Accessible by foot (20-30 minutes) or bus (16-20 minutes) from the Law School.
  • Desired course or clinic experience: All levels (1L-3L) welcome. Students who have an interest in or have taken classes on family law and who have an interest in assisting people of very limited economic resources will help.
  • To participate: Contact Executive Director Mara Bridgman 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. 

    • Schedule: 8:30am-12pm on several Saturdays throughout the year.
    • Location: Madison College campuses in Madison (rotating)
    • Approximate hours of work requested: approximately 10 hours per semester
    • Training: Students complete a 1-hour mandatory training session on clinic procedures, professional responsibility, ethics, and a general overview of the Clinic. Training is a virtual recording. 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 Family Law Assistance Center
    Volunteers provide information, forms, and limited legal advice to clients regarding family court procedures, community resources, and help clients complete forms for divorce, paternity, restraining orders and post judgment motions. Student assistance is especially needed for the virtual work.

    • Schedule: Wednesdays from 11:30am-2pm
    • Location: Dane County Courthouse (address above), and virtually as scheduled based on volunteer and student availability
    • Approximate hours of work requested: approximately 10 hours per semester
    • Training: Students complete a 1-hour mandatory training session on clinic procedures, professional responsibility, ethics, and a general overview of FLAC. Training is a virtual recording. Students must also sign a confidentiality agreement.
    • Transportation: Accessible by foot (22 minutes) or bus (17 minutes) from the Law School
    • 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 training information.

  3. The Small Claims Assistance Program (SCAP)
    SCAP volunteers provide information, forms, and limited legal advice to clients regarding issues such as landlord/tenant, contract disputes, wage claims, enforcement of small claims judgments.

    • Schedule: Tuesdays from 9-11:30am
    • Location: Dane County Courthouse (address above)
    • Approximate hours of work requested: approximately 10 hours per semester.
    • Transportation: Accessible by foot (22 minutes) or bus (17 minutes) from the Law School
    • Training: Students complete a 1-hour mandatory training session on clinic procedures, professional responsibility, ethics, and a general overview of SCAP. Training is a virtual recording. 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 training information.

  4. 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)
    • Approximate hours of work requested: approximately 10 hours per semester.
    • Training: Students complete a 1-hour mandatory training session on clinic procedures, professional responsibility, ethics, and a general overview of VLC. Training is a virtual recording. Students must also sign a confidentiality agreement.
    • Transportation: Accessible by foot (22 minutes) or bus (17 minutes) from the Law School
    • 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.

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.  Legal Action of Wisconsin Remote Bankruptcy Advice Project In the Bankruptcy Clinic, students work with volunteer attorneys to provide legal advice to clients who are considering bankruptcy and/or experiencing creditor harassment.
      • Number of student volunteers requested: 4-6 per month
      • Approximate hours of work requested: 1-3pm every other Friday, plus prep time and post-clinic follow-up
      • Training: Live trainings for new volunteers in January, May, and September
      • Location: Remote
      • Desired course or clinic experience: All grade levels (1L-3L) are welcome, and no prior experience is necessary. Bankruptcy basics training is provided.
      • To participate: Contact Megan McDermott for more information.

  2.   Student Legal Aid/Driver's License Recovery/Expungement Clinics Provide legal aid to low-income clients and students. These projects pair volunteer lawyers with clients who need help cleaning up their criminal records, to improve access to housing, employment, professional licensing, and community resources. Volunteer lawyers assess these records and provide the client with advice on their options for relief, including expungement and pardon petitions.
    • Approximate hours of work requested: 3 hour shifts are offed several days per week
    • Training: Live trainings and remote trainings can be viewed by clicking here https://www.legalaction.org/volunteer-lawyer-project/upcoming-training-information
    • Location: Primarily remote, though some in person events also occur.
    • Desired course or clinic experience: All grade levels (1L-3L) are welcome, and no prior experience is necessary. 
    • To participate: Sign up through the links below. Contact Attorney Megan L. Sprecher for more information.

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.

  • Approximate hours of work requested: Students must commit to volunteering 2 hours per week (1 shift), and to participating for a full semester or the summer. See the schedule by visiting: https://law.marquette.edu/assets/community/pdf/pro-bono-projects-brochure.pdf 
  • Training: A required remote training is provided.
  • Location: Remote or in person at the Milwaukee Justice Center, 901 N. 8th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233.
  • Desired course or clinic experience: All grade levels (1L-3L) are welcome, and no prior experience is necessary.
  • To participate: First, contact Lindsay Slaker who will connect you with Marquette’s Assistant Dean for Public Service, Angela Schultz. 

Student Expulsion Prevention Project (StEPP)

Student Expulsion Prevention Project (StEPP)
a project of the Wisconsin Public Defender's Office 
Phone: 608-886-9787

The Student Expulsion and Prevention Project (StEPP), organized by the Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office, is the recipient of a grant from the State Bar of Wisconsin's Legal Assistance Committee. The project trains and fields volunteer lawyers and law students to represent students facing expulsion in Dane County and Milwaukee County.

  • Approximate hours of work requested: A case may last about 15 days and the hours may vary, but it will likely be less than 5 hours.
  • Training: There is a training video that volunteers will need to watch before participating.
  • Location: The majority of the work is performed remotely by monitoring email and doing phone intakes. If desired, a law student volunteer may meet with lawyer assigned to case and/or with student being represented. In that case, the volunteer may need to travel to the student's home or school, or the central administration building at 545 West Dayton Street in Madison.
  • To participate: Contact attorney Matt Giesfeldt for more information.

Unemployment Appeals Clinic (UAC)

Unemployment Appeals Clinic (UAC)
Madison Labor Temple
1602 South Park Street, #106
Madison, WI 53715

Through participation in the Unemployment Appeals Clinic students will learn a substantive area of administrative law, and gain basic litigation skills such as case intake, client counseling, document preparation and representation in administrative law hearings.

The Unemployment Appeals Clinic is a volunteer organization staffed by University of Wisconsin Law students and supervising attorneys. The purpose of the clinic is to help provide assistance to the unemployed in the local community, most of whom cannot find legal help elsewhere. The Clinic's goal is to help clients file unemployment compensation claims with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The Clinic only deals with claims involving Wisconsin Unemployment Law.

The Clinic acts primarily as an information center to help members of the community prepare themselves for an Unemployment Insurance hearing. It also provides trained law students with the opportunity to appear at the administrative hearings and to help draft briefs to the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) to obtain unemployment benefits.

  • Approximate hours of work requested: 6-12 per semester
  • Schedule: 7-9pm on Mondays
  • Location: Students primarily work at the Labor Temple (address above). Students also have the option to conduct intakes remotely from home. Hearings are conducted over the phone.
  • Training: Training sessions are held every fall and spring. Students must attend one training session before participating.
  • Transportation: Accessible by foot (30 min from Law School) or by bus
  • Desired course or clinic experience: All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To participate: Students are required to attend the mandatory training sessions held in the fall semester before being eligible to act as a student advocate. Interested students may inquire via email for additional information.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
Richard Dilley Tax Center
2206 South Park Street
Madison, WI 53713

The mission of the VITA program is to provide free tax preparation to low to moderate income individuals and families. Students will completely prepare and file the tax return of each client. Students may also be asked to do various clerical activities (filing signed papers, etc.). Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn more about tax issues and answer client questions regarding various tax issues.

*Students participating in VITA for directed research credits are not eligible for pro bono hours.

  • Schedule: January through April every year, from 12-6pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and 9am-3pm on Saturdays
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 30 hours total from January through April, 6 hours each Saturday the student works
  • Training: Students complete a software training then take an online certification test. Students will be required to go through tax training at the VITA site where they will learn how to use the software and work on practice problems.
  • Location: At the VITA site (address above)
  • Transportation: Accessible by bus, carpools can be arranged
  • Desired course or clinic experience: All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To participate: Please contact Hannah Stewart or contact Jimmy Paprocki. Look for announcements in the SBA Newsletter during the Fall Semester.

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.

  • Approximate hours of work requested: Attend morning and/or afternoon shifts at clinics
  • Event operation: The clinics are broken into morning and afternoon sessions, each lasting 3 hours, with each attorney volunteer seeing one first responder per hour. 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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