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    The State Bar Legal Assistance Committee is soliciting applications for Pro Bono Initiative grants from members or organizations to develop, support, or expand pro bono legal services projects in their communities.
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    Nov. 20, 2013 – The State Bar Legal Assistance Committee offers Pro Bono Initiative grants of up to $5,000 to members or organizations to develop, support, or expand pro bono legal services projects in their communities.

    “The success of the Pro Bono Initiative depends on individual and organizational ingenuity to expand our culture of giving back through pro bono service,” says State Bar Pro Bono Coordinator Jeff Brown. “The fragile economy has increased the need for civil legal aid to the poor, but funding for the full-time programs that provide those services has dropped along with the economy. State Bar pro bono surveys have repeatedly shown that volunteer lawyers are a key means of delivering legal services to low-income and disadvantaged people in Wisconsin. Clearly, many lawyers want to help bridge the justice gap.”

    Applying For a Grant Is Easy

    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as requests are received and funds remain available. See inset box to download an application. For more information, contact org jbrown wisbar Jeff Brown at (608) 250-6177, or (800) 444-9404, ext. 6177, or visit the State Bar Pro Bono page on WisBar.

    What Is the State Bar Pro Bono Initiative

    The State Bar Pro Bono Initiative is a statewide-coordinated program to support, recognize, and increase lawyers’ volunteer legal efforts. In collaboration with the judiciary, legal services providers, and local bar organizations, the initiative works to improve public access to the legal system by promoting solutions that eliminate barriers to effective access to the civil justice system.

    Pro Bono Initiative Member Benefits

    The Pro Bono Initiative, approved by the Board of Governors in May 2004, has been a steady source of State Bar support for pro bono in Wisconsin. In addition to the grants, it also encompasses a number of member benefits such as free LexisNexis time for pro bono cases, free malpractice insurance coverage for volunteer service in State Bar-sponsored pro bono projects and reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses that members incur handling pro bono cases (filing fees, mileage, copying, etc.).

    Other State Bar Grants

    The Wisconsin Law Foundation (WLF) annually awards Truman Q. McNulty Grants up to $2,000 to charitable or educational programs that promote public understanding of the law, the improvement of administration of justice, or law-related public service projects. Applications are reviewed each spring, however, grants can be applied for at any time during the year. Requests for grants for fiscal year 2014-15 must submitted by April 4, 2014. Download grant application guidelines. For more information about the Foundation, contact org bdrake wisbar Beth Drake at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6171, or visit the Wisconsin Law Foundation page on WisBar.