April 19, 2017 – Erica Lopez chose to leave a Wall Street law firm to help low-income individuals receive access to legal services. "I didn't care about that work as much as I care about the work that I do now." She recommends attorneys remember why they became lawyers in the first place and do more to give back to their communities.
When access to justice is denied, it affects us personally, says Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Richard Sankovitz. He explains why access to justice matters for everyone and how lawyers can get involved in their own communities.
Wisconsin has made progress in providing legal services for the state’s low-income residents, but the need still outpaces the available resources. Here is a look at some of the great things happening, the individuals and groups that work to increase access to legal assistance for low-income residents, and remaining significant access to justice gaps.
In 2005, Michael Belleau was civilly committed as a “sexually violent person,” after serving prison time for sexually assaulting children. When released in 2010, Wisconsin law required him to wear a GPS monitoring device for the rest of his life. Recently, a federal appeals court upheld the state law, reversing a lower court.