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,
Jennifer Binkley, Chair
Dane County Delivery of Legal Services Committee
Meet Community Lawyer: A New Referral Portal for Dane County Legal Services
The Dane County Bar Association’s Delivery of Legal Services committee has been working on launching a new website that can help connect Dane County residents who cannot afford market-rate legal assistance to community organizations that provide low or no-cost legal services. This referral system, titled “Community Lawyer,” assists our community members in three ways:
- By connecting individuals with local attorneys who provide free or low-cost legal assistance to qualifying individuals.
- By helping individuals find legal clinics that assist with document preparation and offer legal advice.
- By directing individuals to other websites that answer legal questions and provide guidance.
This program is a work in progress, but it is our hope to have it officially launch to the public late this summer. Please stay tuned for more information and opportunities for your organization to participate in the near future!
Dane County Bar Association Worthy Causes Grants Available for 2019
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 2018 the DCBA was pleased to support the following projects:
ABC for Health for the costs to create a training series of approximately 4 webinars for volunteer attorneys and community members on the right and responsibilities of families in Dane County around new work requirements in public benefits programs.
UW Law School Economic Justice Institute for legal advocacy costs for low-income clients.
Community Immigration Law Center for the purchase of a Microsoft Surface Pro for staff attorney use.
Catholic Multicultural Center for translating and printing materials in several different languages and supplies for outreach initiatives and workshops.
Madison College Paralegal Program to help with the cost for three “Ready, Set, Retirement!” programs, which educates public on rights and responsibilities under the law.
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, 2019. All 2018 grant recipients should provide a report by Feb. 15 regardless of application for 2019 funds. 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.
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