The Committee encourages and promotes access to legal representation and services by persons who are unable to access the legal system because of the lack or financial resources or other barriers beyond their control; promotes the establishment and efficient maintenance of programs which encourage and aid the furnishing of pro bono legal services by members of the Association; assists members and organizations who furnish legal services to low income and disadvantaged persons and to organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code which cannot reasonably afford legal services; recognizes members who furnish pro bono legal services; and takes such other actions as will aid the Association and its members in their obligation to further pro bono legal services.
Jennifer Lyn Binkley, Committee Chair
Community Justice Inc
214 North Hamilton, Suite 101
Madison, WI 53703
204-9642 FAX: 204-9645
Ways to Help
Dear Dane County Attorneys:
In the summer, 2003 DCBA Newsletter, Attorney Jim Jaeger described a project the Dane County Delivery of Legal Services Committee has undertaken; to produce the booklet, "WAYS TO HELP," offering numerous opportunities for pro bono service as well as an election form for you to choose an agency with which you could become involved. Our Committee is trying to fashion an organized approach to meeting the demand for pro bono services and your participation is essential.
A variety of opportunities are available to you, and a few that you will see in the booklet are: helping with guardianships (Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups), helping develop policies and procedures (Community Coordinated Child Care), participating on a board of directors (Cornucopia), and direct representation in a variety of legal matters. There are many more opportunities in other areas as well.
We urge you to review the booklet and select an organization that you would like to become involved with. Please fill out the provided form, and fax it to 608-848-9266 or fill out the online form. The community needs your help.
If each of you would commit in the next year to take advantage of a pro bono opportunity, the need for services would go a long way towards being met. Thank you.
Very truly yours,
Dane County Delivery of Legal Services Committee
Worthy Causes Grants
The Dane County Bar Association annually makes funds available for distribution to projects which have one of three purposes:
- Increasing the availability of legal services to low income individuals;
- Educating members of the public on their rights and responsibilities under the law; or
- Improving the legal resources available in Dane County to lawyers and the public.
Nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies providing services in Dane County are eligible to apply for funding.
DCBA Worthy Causes Grants are intended to be used to fund a specific project. They are not intended to be used for staffing, overhead or general operating expenses. Funding from the DCBA should be critical to the project for which funds are sought. Ideally, the project should either be new or an expansion of an existing program. Nonetheless, the grant committee will also entertain requests for funds that would sustain an existing program that might be discontinued without additional funding. Please note that most successful grant applicants in the past have been awarded between $500 and $2,000 in funding.
The grant committee will consider these additional factors:
- How the project will be staffed and supported; and
- The extent of funding available from other sources for the project.
Applicants should submit a proposed budget for the project, along with the specific amount requested from the DCBA. Applicants may not receive the full amount requested and should indicate whether they would be able to perform the project without the full amount requested. Grant recipients will be required to report on the status of the project. Any prior recipient of funding should be sure to submit that report prior to applying for additional funding.
In 2015 the DCBA was pleased to support the following projects:
ABC for Health for costs associated with Community legal education event “Dane County Health Reform Resources: Mind the Gap!”
ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation for cost of 12,000 of updated Know Your Rights pocket
cards and three Know Your Rights workshops for Dane County.
Collaborative Foundation of Wisconsin, Inc. for Venue expenses and miscellaneous
costs to hold information sessions about divorce options in Wisconsin.
Community Justice Inc. for printing and distribution costs of a Spanish language brochure.
Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC) to produce copies of the “Low-Cost
Legal Assistance in Dane County”pamphlet.
UW Law School Economic Justice Institute for legal advocacy costs for low-income clients.
Jewish Social Services of Madison, Inc. for translation costs associated with expanding legal immigration services to low income individuals.
Madison College Paralegal Program Expand “Ready, Set, Retirement! program, which educates public on rights and responsibilities under the law.
Workers Rights Center for costs of a Worker’s Rights Manual.
Any organization interested in applying for funding should send its proposal to: Delivery of Legal Services Committee, Dane County Bar Association, P.O. Box 44008, Madison, WI 53704 or email the proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 15, 2016. Email submissions in Word or PDF format are preferred.
Every year the DLSC recruits volunteers to provide free legal information at a Dane County Farmer’s Market day.
Attorney David Relles and Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg where among those who volunteered their time with the
Dane County Bar to provide legal information at the MadisonFarmers' Market on October 18, 2014.
Pro Bono Road Show
The DLSC organizes presentations at law firms and other venues to recruit new pro bono attorneys and provide information to those attorneys and firms interested in pro bono efforts. For more information in getting involved or having the Road Show make a stop at your firm please contact Jennifer Binkley.
Join the Committee
for more information contact Jennifer Binkley.
Pro Bono Breakfast - 2015
The Dane County Bar Association celebrated Law Day on May 1, 2015, with its annual Pro Bono Breakfast, hosted by the DCBA Delivery of Legal Services Committee and the Pro Bono Trust Fund. The Breakfast honors lawyers who have given of their time and energy to help those who otherwise would not have access to legal assistance or representation and raises funds for the Dane County Pro Bono Trust Fund and Porchlight of Madison, WI. The DCBA was honored to welcome the Honorable James D. Peterson, US Western District Court Judge, as the keynote speaker of our event.
The DBCA was pleased to present four awards for outstanding pro bono work.
The law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP received an award for the firm wide support of pro bono work, especially in the area of advocacy for survivors of domestic violence. Firm members are involved in pro bono work providing in-court representation in restraining order cases as well as staffing a legal clinic to provide a wide range of legal assistance to domestic violence survivors. Members of the firm are available several days every month to provide representation in court and the clinic is staffed during evening hours by volunteers. The support of the firm for these projects and for the work of individual attorneys is incredibly valuable to the individuals faced with difficult legal issues as well as the greater community.
Law student Amanda Meyers was the recipient of the Law Student Award for her work with the UW Law School Pro Bono Program. Ms. Meyers is the UW Law School 2014-15 Pro Bono Program student coordinator. In addition to her work with the Program, Ms. Meyers has volunteered over 150 hours of pro bono time with a variety of projects during her law school career, including work on the following programs:The Legal Intervention for Non-Violence Clinic, Indian Wills Caravan, Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Unemployment Appeals Clinic, the Veterans Law Clinic and Wills for Heroes. Ms. Meyer’s efforts to give back, while still a law student, are commendable.
The ACLU Mass Defense Project received an award for the work to provide free and reduced fee legal services to the Capital Singers in cases involving over 170 individuals and over 400 citations. Those involved in providing services included criminal defense attorneys, civil litigators, first amendment and civil rights specialists, new and some semi-retired attorneys. There was also tremendous work to coordinate these cases and the defenses. In all over 65 attorneys were involved in these cases. Not only did the attorneys involved do a tremendous service to the individuals involved but they also provided much needed help to the Judicial system faced with these cases.
Dera Johnsen-Tracy of Horn & Johnsen SC received the Individual Attorney Award for her work with the Dane County Senior Wills Clinic. The Clinic provides free Will and Power of Attorney production for low income seniors and veterans. Attorney Johnsen-Tracy has provided countless hours of volunteer time to help with the Senior Wills program. She was instrumental in the planning and has trained three groups of volunteers at three different times for the program. Additionally she has been present for every Senior Wills clinic to date. This program has helped nearly 100 individuals obtain a basic will and powers of attorney for health care and finances at no cost to them. Attorney Johnsen-Tracy’s help has been critical to this program.
In addition to the individuals listed above, the DCBA was also pleased to recognize the first admissions into the Wisconsin Access to Justice Pro Bono Role. Nearly 100 Dane County attorneys became a part of the Pro Bono Honor Society for their pro bono efforts during 2014. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Julie Genovese was present to thank and recognize the members of this group. Please see accompanying list of members included below.
The Dane County Bar is proud of our legal community’s commitment to pro bono work and we recognize the efforts of these individuals.
We also wish to thank the following event sponsors, who gave generously to support the Breakfast:
Habush, Habush & Rottier S.C.
Boardman & Clark LLP
Cullen Weston Pines & Bach LLP
Foley & Lardner LLP
Godfrey & Kahn S.C.
Gingras, Cates & Luebke
Stroud, Willink & Howard LLC
Quarles & Brady LLP
DeWitt Ross & Stevens LLP
Balisle & Robinson, S.C.
Bell, Moore & Richter, S.C.
Community Justice, Inc.
Hawkes Quindel, S.C.
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
State Bar of Wisconsin
Scholz Nonprofit Law LLC
University of Wisconsin Law School
Low Cost and Free Legal Resources in Dane County
We maintain a comprehensive list of resources in Dane County on our Resources Page.
If you have resources you would like to add to this list please send the information to Jennifer Binkley