Public Education Projects
The Wisconsin Law Foundation assists the State Bar of Wisconsin in sponsoring an annual Mock Trial Program for high school students across the state. Teams of 6 to 12 students spend several months learning how the legal system works by developing and presenting a case prepared by members of the State Bar. Mock trials are structured like real court trials and follow the same rules. Participants gain hands-on experience about the legal system. The mock trials are judged in a tournament format by real attorneys and judges. The top two teams in the state compete in a final competition in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Room before the justices. There are approximately 1,100 high school students across the state that participate in this program each year.
The Wisconsin Law Foundation currently supports Our Courts, a new initiative of the State Bar's Public Education Committee. This initiative is based on a program by the Colorado Judicial Institute and the Colorado Bar Association. The Colorado Our Courts program has made over 300 presentations to audiences numbering more than 10,000.
The mission of Wisconsin Our Courts is to provide nonpartisan, informative programs to adult audiences throughout the state. The goal will be to enhance public knowledge and understanding of the courts. Presentations will be made free to community and service organizations around the state.
This booklet was originally written by Attorney David McFarlane in the 1990s and titled On Being 18. It was updated and expanded in 2011 to include information for all Wisconsin adults. The booklet contains practical information about the legal system and the rights and responsibilities of adults in Wisconsin. The Law Foundation has supports printing costs for this publication. Each year, several thousand copies are distributed free of charge to individuals, schools, and community organizations throughout the state. The Law Foundation is currently sponsoring an effort to translate the booklet into Spanish.
Public Service Projects
Your gift to the Wisconsin Law Foundation also supports public service grants. Each year, the Law Foundation welcomes proposals for funding law-related public service projects that need grant dollars to meet their goals. This process is a challenging one. The Law Foundation regularly receives requests that exceed available funds, making your contribution critical.
To request a complete list of grant award recipients and projects that the Law Foundation has funded, please contact Program Assistant Beth Drake at (608) 250-6171.