Attention Pro Bono Volunteers:

Please remember that you must complete the Canvas 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.

Current & Upcoming Projects

Advocacy and Benefits Counseling (ABC) for Health, Inc.

ABC for Health, Inc.
32 North Bassett Street
Madison, WI 53703
608-261-6939

Advocacy and Benefits Counseling (ABC) for Health, Inc. is a Wisconsin-based, non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to ensuring health care access for children and families, particularly those with special needs or who are at risk. Student volunteers will be involved in assisting firm attorneys in direct client service to low-income, underserved Wisconsin residents as well as assisting in legal research, writing, briefing and policy work.

Direct client services will include client interviews, intake interviews and follow up meetings to determine health care financing needs and services for patients and clients. A student will help identify health coverage options for ABC clients, in consultation with attorneys and health benefits advocacy staff, and help with any appeals, challenges or denials of coverage. Students will assist client services staff in our contract with local providers, which will involve working with patients to identify health coverage and navigate hurdles to accessing available coverage options.

In addition, students may assist ABC for Health teach and train public health service providers, advocates, and attorneys. Some students will conduct research on a topic identified by work with clients. After research, the results will be translated into policy proposals, newsletters and papers, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) materials or web cast materials to help disperse the findings.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 2
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 12-20 hours/week. Students will select a regular work schedule that will become their shift for the semester.
  • Training: Students will undergo extensive orientation and training on both substantive health coverage programs, federal and state laws, administrative rules and advocacy strategies, and on client services skills including client interviewing, database systems, phone systems, etc. Students will benefit from one-on-one, hands-on training with their supervisor, other attorneys and health benefits counselors at ABC for Health.
  • Work will be performed: At ABC for Health (address above)
  • Transportation: Accessible by bus
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. Students must be a 2L or 3L during the 2016-2017 Academic Year. Spanish language ability preferred.
  • To apply: Submit a resume and cover letter to supervising attorney Brynne McBride at bmcbride@safetyweb.org

Community Immigration Law Center (CILC)

Clinic Location:
Christ Presbyterian Church
944 E Gorham St.
Madison, WI 53703

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.

The Latino Law Students Association coordinates student volunteering at CILC every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month. At CILC, students conduct intakes on behalf of CILC attorneys with walk-in immigrant clients. Students also have the opportunity to observe attorney-client meetings following the intake. 

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 5 to 6 students per visit
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 3 hours per visit
  • Training: Students must attend a training session prior to participation. Trainings are typically held three times per year, in summer, fall semester, and spring semester.
  • Work will be performed: At Christ Presbyterian Church (address above)
  • Transportation: Accessible by foot or bus
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L) welcome. Various languages preferred, especially Spanish.
  • To participate: Contact Scott Wellhausen at swellhausen@wisc.edu

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.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: As many as possible
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 4-8 hours/week. Volunteer shifts are usually 9:00am-1:00pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm. CJI asks for a minimal commitment one weekly shift for the length of a semester.
  • Training: Community Justice will individually train all law students who will be volunteering at Community Justice. 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. Training is provided each semester or school break time period to all volunteers in a group setting. Attempts are made to accommodate as many schedules as possible. If a student is unable to attend the training, additional opportunities will be provided.
  • Work will be performed: At Community Justice, but some off-site work may be possible.
  • Transportation: Accessible by Foot (20-30 minutes) or Bus (16-20 minute trip) from the Law School.
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. 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 apply: Submit a resume and cover letter to supervising attorney Mara Bridgman Sheridan at marab@communityjusticeinc.org

Dane County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Dane County CASA
A program of the Canopy Center
1457 East Washington Avenue, Suite 102
Madison, WI 53703
608-729-1136

The mission of Dane County CASA is to be an independent voice for abused and neglected children who are under the legal protection of the Dane County Court System. 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 here.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 4-6
  • Approximate hours of work requested: Approximately 3 hours per week. Students must plan to participate for one full year. Once training is completed the time commitment will primarily consist of the 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. Spring 2020 training sessions will be on Thursdays from 5:00-8:00pm beginning March 5th and continuing until April 23rd (no class April 9th) at Canopy Center. All training sessions should be attended.
  • Work will be performed: 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: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To apply: Complete an online application and then contact Dane County CASA Program Director Meaghan Henry at meaghan@danecountycasa.org  to let her know that you're a pro bono student and that you've submitted an application for the program.

Dane County TimeBank Youth Court

Dane County TimeBank, Inc.
1202 Williamson St., Suite 107
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 663-0400

The mission of the TimeBank Youth Court is to provide a positive alternative to the juvenile justice system so youth can willingly take responsibility for their actions, make amends and build healthy and productive relationships. Working with law enforcement, collaborating nonprofits, schools and neighborhood groups, youth in the program can contribute to a safer, more caring community.

The TimeBank Youth Court sends kids in trouble to a jury of their peers rather than through the court system. A ticket or other formal consequence may be held in abeyance while the young person is given the chance to pursue this alternate course of action. The peer jury hears the case, then generally sentences youth to activities that include repairing the harm and participating in activities that can help them succeed in the long run. These activities can include: writing letters of apology to victims or other restorative justice activities, life skills or mentoring programs, tutoring younger kids, and more. When youths' sentences are complete they have the option to continue their service, earning TimeBank Hours.

The goal is to keep young people engaged in programs that they enjoy and are benefiting from. They can build a stronger social network and build their skills, capacities, and work experience. The Dane County TimeBank's program is modeled on Washington DC's Time Dollar Youth Court. The TimeBank Youth Court is now underway in Madison's West, East, Memorial and LaFollette High Schools. In addition to our school-based youth courts, the TimeBank is now running two youth court sites weekly in the community at Fountain of Life Church (833 W. Badger Rd) and James Reeb Unitarian Church (2416 W. Johnson St). For each of our locations we are looking for experienced mentors, tutors, and all-around helpers to participate.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 1-4 per site
  • Hours of work requested: 2-3 hours/month, additional hours are available if interested in mentoring or doing one on one work with referrals. Each session is approximately 2.5 hours. Youth court at school sites will be from 3:45pm-5:30pm (days to be determined). Community sites will be from 4:30pm-6:30pm on Mondays (Fountain of Life Church) and Wednesdays (James Reeb Church).
  • Training: Attending a juror training is encouraged
  • Work will be performed: At the Madison's West, East, Memorial and LaFollette High Schools monthly. Also at Fountain of Life Church and James Reeb Church weekly.
  • Transportation: Bus transportation is available, but a car would be helpful
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L) welcome. Previous experience working with teens will help.
  • To apply: Contact Lorrie Hurckes, Executive Director, at lorrie@danecountytimebank.org

Legal Action of Wisconsin (LAW)

Legal Action of Wisconsin
744 Williamson St. Suite 200
Madison, Wisconsin 53703-4579
(608) 256-3304

Legal Action of Wisconsin Inc. (LAW) is a non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal services to achieve justice for low-income people. LAW advocates for empowerment and systemic change that helps low-income people access their legal rights. LAW handles civil law cases such as housing, public benefits, family law, and consumer law. 

  1. General volunteer

    Law students will assist with intake, organizing case files, document preparation, drafting correspondence to clients and attorneys, legal and policy research, case investigation, document review, and administrative work inherent in case management. 

    • Number of student volunteers requested: 1-2, depending on capacity
    • Project start/end date: Ongoing; at least two semesters of volunteering is optimal.
    • Approximate hours of work requested: 5-10 hours/week
    • Training: Supervising attorney will provide necessary training
    • Work will be performed: At Legal Action of Wisconsin (address above)
    • Transportation: Accessible by bike, car, and bus (street parking only)
    • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. Students must be 2Ls or 3Ls. Hmong or Spanish language ability preferred, but not required. Prior work experience in an office setting is preferred. 
    • To apply: Submit a resume and a brief statement of interest (not a cover letter - no more than half a page) to Managing Attorney Stacia R. Conneely at SRC@legalaction.org
  2. Bankruptcy Clinic volunteer

    Legal Action's Madison Bankruptcy Clinic provides free case evaluation and advice to low-income clients in a limited scope Chapter 7 clinic staffed by a volunteer attorney through our Volunteer Lawyers Project. Appointments may be in person or by phone. Student volunteers assist the volunteer attorney with notetaking and other tasks requested by the attorney. Prior knowledge of bankruptcy and consumer law is helpful but not required.

    • Number of student volunteers requested: 1-2 per clinic
    • Approximate hours of work requested: 2 hours per clinic, second Friday of each month from 10am-12pm
    • Work will be performed: At Legal Action (address above)
    • Training: None
    • Transportation: Accessible by foot, car, and bus (street parking only)
    • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L. LLM/SJD) welcome. 
    • To participate: Volunteers must contact Kristin Hoffschmidt, Volunteer Lawyers Project Coordinator at kjh@legalaction.org at least one week in advance to participate. Volunteers must have a confirmation to participate.

Legal Assistance for Disaster Relief (LADR)

Legal Assistance for Disaster Relief
Contact: Rebecca Steck (rsteck@wisc.edu) or Ellen Atterbury (eatterbury@wisc.edu)

The Legal Assistance for Disaster Relief (LADR) is a law student organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to low-income victims of major natural disasters. As least once a year (during winter break and/or spring break), students travel to a location in the United States that has recently suffered from a major natural disaster. During this trip, students clerk full-time for local non-profits assisting direct and indirect victims of the disaster with legal issues arising out of the disaster, including access to public benefits, employment, housing, patient dumping, and discharge of pre-disaster financial obligations.

Expected tasks include: intake interviewing; legal research and memo-writing; client-counseling and case evaluation; and, drafting or updating legal information brochures and practice manuals. In previous years, students have volunteered at organizations such as AIDSLaw of Louisiana, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Louisiana Civil Justice Center, and the Orleans Public Defenders.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 15-20 per trip
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 40 hours per trip
  • Training: Students will be trained by LADR prior to departure in addition to on-site training by attorneys at each host organization.
  • Work will be performed: On-site in locations recently affected by major natural disasters
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To apply: Contact Samantha Richie at srichie@wisc.edu

Legal Observer Program

National Lawyers Guild
at UW Law School
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706

The National Lawyers Guild's Legal Observer Program aims to protect the civil liberties of community organizers, activists, and protesters when they express their political views in the public sphere. Legal Observers are attorney-trained volunteers who attend protests as neutral observers - as their name implies - in order to ensure that individuals are able to express themselves without unjust interference by law enforcement. Their presence is primarily meant to serve as a deterrent to unconstitutional activity.

This new pro bono opportunity will allow students to be trained and volunteer as Legal Observers for local protests and activist activities on an as-needed basis. Typically, Legal Observers will attend local actions - under the supervision or guidance of an attorney - after a request by a local community organization or non-profit and, using their training, observe the activities of any law enforcement present to ensure the protection of the participants' constitutional rights. In some circumstances, Legal Observers will be asked to serve as witnesses in the event of a participant's arrest or in a related civil case.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 1-4 per event, depending on need
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 3-4 hours per event, depending on needs. Students who participate as Legal Observers may also be asked to perform follow up work in the event of an arrest during a protest, and to testify as a witness during any subsequent trial.
  • Training: Required before participation. Will be offered one time per semester.
  • Work will be performed: Within the Madison area, but varying depending on the location of a given protest
  • Transportation: Can usually be arranged with an NLG member beforehand. Bus transit may be an option, depending on a given protest's proximity to a bus route.
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L, LLM/SJD) welcome.
  • To participate: Please contact the student coordinator, Dan Schneider at dschneider4@wisc.edu

LIFT Dane

LIFT Dane (Legal Interventions for Transforming Dane):
Technology-enhanced Pop-Up Legal Clinics
P.O. Box 259463
Madison, WI 53725

LIFT Dane (Legal Interventions for Transforming Dane) is a partnership between the Economic Justice Institute, Legal Action of Wisconsin, UW Law School’s civil clinics, including the Center for Patient Partnerships, and Employment and Training Association to create an online platform that provides easy online access to public data and services to assist individuals eliminate legal barriers to better employment.

For low income and fragile middle-class workers, the opportunity for economic security and well-being often winds through the civil legal justice system. Our community is no exception. Thousands in Dane County are weighed down by fixable minor legal problems: suspended driver’s licenses, consumer debt, child support, and criminal records, that have major impacts on their ability to advance in the workforce, secure housing, and stabilize their families. Most legal services are focused on one issue - LIFT Dane’s app will be designed to provide a holistic Legal Tune Up to determine all the legal issues a person might face.

Legal services will be provided at community-based pop-up legal clinics. Sites will include employers, job centers, social service organizations, libraries, neighborhood centers, and other community gathering spaces. (The first pop-ups will likely be at the Dane County Job Center on Aberg Ave., Bus Route 2)

LIFT Dane will start by helping 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 will help pilot the application being built to streamline legal services. Over time the technology and pop-ups will address multiple legal issues. In addition to pop-ups, the technology will be available for use by any stakeholder in Dane County - self-represented individuals, lawyers (and law students) at clinics and community-based firms, and community advocates. Students will be supervised by clinical faculty at the Center for Patient Partnerships and the Neighborhood Law Clinic and staff attorneys at community-based partner organizations.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 5-10
  • Project start/end date: Ongoing. We are recruiting volunteers for:
    1. Community-based pop-up legal clinics; and
    2. Help testing the LIFT Dane application
  • Approximate hours of work requested: We ask students to commit to at least 9 hours over the Spring semester.  Three hours for training and then 6 providing services over 2-4 pop-up clinics or help testing the new technology.   Pop-up clinics will be primarily on weekdays; shifts will last 2-4 hours. Application testing sessions will be: 1-2 hours.
  • Training: All volunteers must complete a three-hour training on reinstating driver’s licenses in late January or early February.  When the technology is available, students will be introduced to the Legal Tune Up.  Additional training will be provided as new modules are rolled out.
  • Transportation: Pop-up sites will vary, with attention to access by public transportation.  Carpooling will also be coordinated.  The first pop-ups will likely be at the Dane County Job Center on Aberg Ave., Bus Route 2
  • 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 apply: Submit an email with a one to two paragraph explanation of interest in volunteering to sachin@patientpartnerships.org.
  • Questions? Contact Sachin Gupte at the Center for Patient Partnerships at sachin@patientpartnerships.org or 608-262-6667.

Madison Path to Citizenship

Madison Path to Citizenship
UW Division of Continuing Studies
21 N. Park Street, 7th floor
Madison WI 53715

Madison Path to Citizenship is a network of service providers, educational institutions, agencies, businesses, and individuals dedicated to supporting lawful permanent residents on their path to responsible, civically-engaged U.S. citizenship. We operate by scaling-up institutional capacity to support naturalization through partner organizations by offering the following free services and programs: informational sessions about the process of naturalization and where to seek help in Dane County; assistance for lawful permanent residents who want to navigate the path to naturalization; screening by an attorney for citizenship eligibility and help to complete the USCIS fee waiver form; citizenship workshops twice a year to help applicants complete the 21-page N-400 Application for Naturalization; ESL civics courses and tutoring to prepare for the U.S. Citizenship test; training to strengthen organizational capacity and support for naturalization of permanent residents in Dane County.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 10-15
  • Project start/end date: Ongoing. We are recruiting volunteers for 1) Outreach sessions to educate the public about the process of naturalization and the available resources in Madison and 2) Help at the next Citizenship Workshop
  • Approximate hours of work requested: Outreach: 1-2 hours (accompanied by staff). Workshops: 5-8 hours(1-3 hours of training and 4 hours at workshop)
  • Training: All volunteers will complete a one-hour training program. For workshops, students will need to complete an additional 90-minute online training program.
  • Transportation: 30 minute walk from Memorial Union or 15 minute bus ride
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the online ethics course found here, prior to beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L, LLM/SJD) welcome.
  • To apply: Submit an email with a one-sentence explanation of interest in volunteering to laurie.sz.greenberg@wisc.edu. Please indicate the following: if you are interested in training to talk with groups about immigration and U.S. citizenship, if you would like to be trained to provide naturalization application support services, and if you are fluent in Spanish.

Medical-Legal Partnership Program: Clinical-based Legal Resource Navigators

Medical-Legal Partnership Program
at Wingra Family Medical Center
1102 South Park Street
Madison, WI 53715

The Medical-Legal Partnership at the Center for Patient Partnerships has pro bono opportunities for students during the fall and spring semesters. Our Navigator program focuses on providing preventable legal services while addressing broad social determinants of health of patients at the Northeast Family Medical Center and the Wingra Clinic. The volunteer Legal Navigators will assess client request for services, provide legal advice or information, and provide referrals to other legal resources when appropriate. Common legal issues that arise include: housing, immigration, family, and consumer law. Law students collaborate with undergraduate navigators, who assist clients by connecting them with community resources to ensure their basic needs are being met. 

  • Number of student volunteers requested: Two. Requires a 2+ semester commitment
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 2-4 hours per week, with one shift of approximately 2 hours at Wingra Family Medical Center. Other time will be traveling to resources with clients and/or researching resources, which can happen off site. We can be flexible with hours due to students' other commitments.
  • Transportation: Wingra Family Medical Center is accessible by bus, car, or on foot.
  • 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 completed a legal clinical experience or have any client-services experiences. 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 Sachin Gupta at sachin@patientpartnerships.org

National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) Dodge County Detention Facility Trips

Hosted by: National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)
208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60604

UW Immigrant Justice Clinic
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706

Documented and undocumented individuals from around the country are detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Dodge County Detention Facility in Juneau, Wisconsin. ICE leases bed space from the jail, and at any given time there are approximately 200 immigration detainees there, awaiting deportation proceedings. Some of these detainees have valid claims to remain in the United States, but most face language, cultural, and/or financial barriers to accessing legal representation or advice. There are no court-appointed attorneys in immigration proceedings so most detainees end up representing themselves. The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and the Immigrant Justice Clinic (IJC) work to provide legal information and representation to these detainees.

IJC coordinates monthly visits to the Dodge County jail to provide basic legal information to detainees and to conduct intake interviews. A group of 8-12 volunteers spend four hours at the jail conducting one-on-one interviews with detainees. Their intakes are then reviewed by NIJC and IJC for possible representation.

Volunteers gain first-hand experience with our immigration system while providing a social good to underserved communities. These visits may be the only service detainees receive during the deportation process. Spanish language ability is extremely helpful, but not required. Other languages are helpful too! Volunteers must attend a one-hour training prior to participating. Visits happen one Friday a month, departing Madison by 7:00 am, and returning by 2:00 pm. Transportation is provided.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 8 - 10 students per visit
  • Upcoming visit dates: One Friday a month
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 4 hours pro bono credit per visit + 2-3 hours of travel time
  • Training: Students are trained on-campus where they are exposed to the NIJC intake forms and various scenarios that may arise in conducting intakes with immigrant detainees. Trainings will be offered at least three times each year: Fall semester, Spring semester, and Summer semester. If there is demand for an additional training, that can be accommodated as well.
  • Work will be performed: At the Dodge County Detention Facility, Juneau, WI.
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. None, all levels (1L-3L) welcome. Various languages preferred, especially Spanish.
  • To participate: Please contact Michelle Brandemuehl, mbrandemuehl@wisc.edu

Ready to Rent

Ready to Rent
Please contact: Jeanette Nagel at jbnagel@wisc.edu 

Housing Law Trainings at the Dane County Jail
Hosted by:
Neighborhood Law Clinic
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-9575

Clinic Location:
William H. Ferris Center
2120 Rimrock Road
Madison, WI 53713

Students participating in Ready to Rent will learn about key issues in landlord-tenant law, then present that information to Dane County Jail inmates at the William H. Ferris Center. Students will gain experience in public speaking, educational outreach, and working with jail inmates, as well as a better understanding of state and local housing law.

Ready to Rent's goal is to help jail inmates prepare for the rental application process, learn their legal rights and options for finding housing with a criminal record, and anticipate and avoid common rental problems. The Ready to Rent program is supported by Madison-area Urban Ministry (MUM), a non-profit organization that fights for systemic change to our criminal justice system and offers trainings and classes to help individuals released from jail transition back into their communities.

The Ready to Rent curriculum focuses on budgeting, understanding tenant legal rights and responsibilities, navigating landlord-tenant law in Wisconsin and Dane County, and other advice for maintaining a successful renting experience. Attorney Mitch and students from the Neighborhood Law Clinic will host training sessions in this curriculum each semester.

Students participating in Ready to Rent will be in charge of leading class sessions with groups of 4-10 inmates at the Ferris Center. Class sessions are held Monday nights from 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm. Students will work in teams of 2-3 to lead each session.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: Indefinite
  • Approximate hours of work requested: At least 4 hours per semester
  • Training: Training sessions are held every fall. Attendance at the training session is mandatory. Students must also complete a mandatory training at the Dane County Jail before working with inmates. Students will schedule the Dane County Jail training at the initial training session.
  • Work will be performed: Students primarily work at the William H. Ferris Center.
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. No course work required; all levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To participate: Students are required to attend two mandatory training sessions (described above) before being eligible to act as a session leader. Interested students may email uwreadytorent@gmail.com for additional information.

Street Law Project

Street Law Project
at Madison East High School
2222 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704

Street Law programs work to empower young people to become active, engaged members of the community by giving them practical knowledge about the law and their rights. In this project, the law students will work with a group of high school students to educate them about their legal rights and then support the high school students as they work to prepare their own "know your rights" presentation, which they will give to other students and possibly at other venues in the community. In Fall 2016, law students will be working at Madison East High School in collaboration with Centro Hispano.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 4-6
  • Project start/end date: Ongoing during Fall and Spring semesters
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 3-4 hours per week for six weeks, 24-30 hours total per semester. The time commitment is one afternoon every two weeks.
  • Training: None required
  • Work will be performed: At Madison East High School in Fall 2016 (address above)
  • Transportation: Accessible by car and bus
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the online ethics course found here, prior to beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L, LLM/SJD) welcome.
  • To participate: Please send letter of interest to Benjamin Harville at bharville@wisc.edu

Student Expulsion Prevention Project (StEPP)

Student Expulsion Prevention Project (StEPP)
a project of the Wisconsin Public Defender's Office
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 to represent students facing expulsion in Dane County (some cases in Milwaukee and Racine). The State Public Defender's Office is coordinating the program with the help of many volunteers, both pro bono attorneys and law students.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 15
  • Approximate hours of work requested: Generally, 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.
  • Work will be performed: Can be done remotely, or law student volunteer may meet with lawyer assigned to case and/or with student being represented. 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 Diane Rondini-Harness at stepp.probono@gmail.com

Sunshine Legal Clinic

1632 W. Main Street
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

The Sunshine Legal Clinic's mission is to improve access to legal services for individuals in and around Sun Prairie who could otherwise not afford them. In addition to assisting with client interviews and intake, students will be paired with the volunteer attorneys to provide 15-30 minute consultations to individuals seeking advice in the areas of family law, debt collection, tenant rights, immigration, criminal, small claims, employment, and more.

The free legal clinic is held on the first Thursday of each month from 4:30 - 6:30 pm at 1632 W. Main Street, Sun Prairie.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: Four (4)
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 2.5 hours per month
  • Training: On-site training
  • Work will be performed: On-site at the address listed above
  • Transportation: Provided by the student
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. All law students are encouraged to apply. Spanish language ability is a plus.
  • To apply: Submit a letter of interest and resume to Attorney Joshua J. Kindkeppel at jkindkeppel@pinesbach.com or 122 W Washington Ave, Suite 900, Madison, WI 53703. 

Tenant Resource Center (TRC)

"For Housing Justice In Wisconsin"

Tenant Resource Center
1202 Williamson Street Ste. 102
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 257-0143

The Tenant Resource Center is a nonprofit, membership organization that educates tenants and landlords about their rental rights and responsibilities. We offer real solutions to real problems, unlock the door to affordable housing, and keep families safe in their homes through housing counseling, referrals, and mediation.

Volunteer Housing Counselors are a central part of our mission. They will work directly with clients to help them understand tenant landlord law and its remedies. Common topics are eviction, repairs, security deposits, ending leases, discrimination, and retaliation. Counselors explain strategies for negotiation and asserting tenant rights, as well as resolutions that clients can find in small claims court or with authorities like Building Inspection and Consumer Protection. Counselors will also become familiar with extensive referrals for social services in Dane County, including Tenant Resource Center's Housing Help Desk and Housing Mediation Service.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 1-10
  • Approximate hours of work requested: Minimum commitment is 3 hours/week for one year or 4 hours per week for one academic year. (Other arrangements are acceptable upon request, as long as students complete 150 hours.) Shifts are flexible for changes in the school calendar, and can be scheduled anytime between 9am - 6pm, Monday - Friday.
  • Training: Students will complete a mandatory training (taught by TRC staff) on federal, state, and local housing laws and referrals. This 13-hour class will be taught over the course of two days: usually a Saturday and Sunday from 10am - 4pm (both days). There is a break for lunch each day, with meal provided. Registration is required. After the class, new volunteers with shadow and be shadowed by experienced volunteers while counseling clients in our main office. There is ongoing supervision from staff as volunteers work with clients on their own.
  • Work will be performed: At the Tenant Resource Center main office (address above)
  • Transportation: Bus transportation is available
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. None, all levels (1L-3L) welcome. Spanish and other language skills preferred but not required.
  • To apply: Email Program Director Aaron Romens: aaron@tenantresourcecenter.org with any questions.

Unemployment Appeals Clinic (UAC)

Clinic Location:
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.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: Indefinite
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 6-12 per semester
  • Training: Training sessions are held every fall. Attendance at all training sessions is mandatory.
  • Work will be performed: Students primarily work at the Labor Temple (address above), unless they are scheduled to appear at an administrative hearing.
  • Transportation: Accessible by foot (30 min from Law School) or by bus
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. None, 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 email uwunemploymentappealsclinic@gmail.com for additional information.

Veterans Law Center (VLC)

Veterans Law Center Locations:

City-County Building
(2nd Thursday of each month, 11:00pm to 1:00pm)
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703

Porchlight, Inc.
(4th Thursday of each month, 5:00pm to 7:00pm)
306 North Brooks Street
Madison, WI, 53715

Madison VA Hospital
(4th Friday of each month, 11:00am to 1:00pm)
2500 Overlook Terrace
Madison, WI, 53705

The VLC is a free legal center staffed by volunteer lawyers, paralegals and law students. The center serves low-income veterans and their families, providing brief legal advice, information and referrals on a variety of civil legal matters. Additionally, staff from the Dane County Veterans Service Office can provide information about non-legal resources available to veterans.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: Indefinite
  • Approximate hours of work requested: One or more VLC session (2.5 hours) a semester
  • Training: Students complete a 90 minute mandatory training session on military knowledge, veterans' issues, professional responsibility, ethics, and a general overview of the VLC.
  • Work will be performed: At the three VLC sites (addresses above) only
  • Transportation: Accessible by foot or bus
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. None, all levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To participate: Attend a training session first. Training sessions are offered once each semester. Please contact the VLC Student Coordinator at vlc@law.wisc.edu. Students can be added to the listserv to be kept informed about VLC happenings.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

UW Law School Business and Tax Law Association 
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53703

VITA Site:

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 work at the Richard Dilley Tax Center in Madison. The RDTC’s hours are January through April, Noon-6pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and 9am-3pm on Saturdays. Students generally work for 4-5 Saturdays throughout the Spring Semester.

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

  • Number of student volunteers requested: Indefinite
  • Project start/end date: January through April every year
  • Approximate hours of work requested: 30 hours total from January through April, 6 hours each Saturday the student works
  • Training: Students complete an 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.
  • Work will be performed: At the VITA site (address above)
  • Transportation: Accessible by bus, carpools can be arranged
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To participate: Please contact Hannah Stewart (hmstewart@wisc.edu) or Jimmy Paprocki (jcpaprocki@wisc.edu) Look for announcements in the SBA Newsletter during the Fall Semester.

Western District of Wisconsin Project

The UW Law School Pro Bono Program and the Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association Pro Bono Committee are pleased to announce a new opportunity for students. Students can sign up to be matched with an attorney who is working on a pro bono case in the Western District of Wisconsin.The majority of these cases are inmate civil suits against the state and its employees alleging deliberate indifference and excessive force.

Attorneys are looking for students who are interested in this type of work and in seeing how things are done behind the scenes since federal cases do not have many hearings. Student participation will vary depending on the needs of the attorney. Students may work with the attorney for the duration of a case, a small portion of the case, or for just a specific project, such as pulling together jury instructions, doing legal research and drafting memos, or helping with depositions.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: Indefinite
  • Project start/end date: Will vary depending on the needs of cases
  • Approximate hours of work requested: Will vary depending on the needs of the attorney
  • Training: Conducted by the assigned attorney
  • Work will be performed: Discuss with the assigned attorney
  • Desired course or clinical experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. This will vary depending on the case. Right now we envision that once we gather the project description and student requirements from the attorney, we will forward that to our list of interested students. Any students who are interested in the specific job opportunity we announce will then be asked to respond with a paragraph explaining their interest and a current resume. From those responses we will select a student to work with the attorney.
  • To participate: Please contact Laura at probonodirector@law.wisc.edu to sign up for the email list.

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 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 atorney 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 ntoaized. 

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.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: Varies per clinic
  • Approximate hours of work requested: Attend morning and/or afternoon shifts at clinics 
  • Training: Complete the online ethics course prior to volunteering at a clinic. No additional training required for law students to act as witnesses. Law student acting as volunteer attorneys will be paired with volunteer attorneys for training. Law students may also attend a clinic to observe prior to volunteering. 
  • Work will be performed:  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 preferred. Students interested in acting as attorneys must contact Attorney Sherry Clay (sclay@foley.com) with the desired clinic and their experience with estate planning or the clinics. Students, please do NOT register for a clinic as an attorney before contacting Attorney Clay. Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity.
  • To participate: Students interested in acting as witnesses may register at Wisconsin WIlls for Heroes upcoming events. Students interested in acting as attorneys must contact Attorney Sherry Clay (sclay@foley.com) with the desired clinic and their experience with estate planning or the clinics. Students, please do NOT register for a clinic as an attorney before contacting Attorney Clay.

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