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

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 Bar Association Legal Clinics

In-person meetings are suspended due to COVID-19. Meetings are being held virtually.

The Veteran’s Law Center (VLC) is a free legal center staffed by Dane County Bar Association volunteer lawyers, paralegals, and law students. It is offered through DCBA Legal Clinics which also houses the Family Law Assistance Center (FLAC) and the Smalls Claims Assistance Program (SCAP). VLC serves low-income veterans and their families, providing brief legal advice, information, and referrals on a variety of civil legal matters.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: Indefinite
  • Approximate hours of work requested: approximately 10 hours per semester with some scheduling flexibility
  • Training: Students complete a 1-hour mandatory training session on clinic procedures, professional responsibility, ethics, and a general overview of VLC, FLAC, and SCAP.
  • Desired course or clinic experience: Complete the Canvas training course prior to training for or beginning this opportunity. None and all experiences levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To participate: Students interested in VLC, FLAC or SCAP, should contact DCBA Legal Clinics for the training information at dcba.uwlegalclinics@gmail.com.

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 Cheri Dvorak at cherid@casadanecolumbia.org to let her know that you're a pro bono student and that you've submitted an application for the program.

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 Volunteer Lawyers Project Coordinator Jacob Thorne at jnt@legalaction.org at least one week in advance to participate. Volunteers must have a confirmation to participate.

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.

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

*Currently remote

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 Northport 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 the Health Justice Clinic in the Extension Building 432 Lake St. 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: The Health Justice Clinic is accesssible by a 5 minute walk from the Law School.
  • 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 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 Gupte at sachin.gupte@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 Matt Giesfeldt at giesfeldtm@opd.wi.gov.

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. 

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.

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.

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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