Talita Bornholdt received the 2019 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award for her service with the Immigration Legal Services program at the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison, logging 279 volunteer hours during the year. Thanks to her help, CMC was able to provide services to 142 vulnerable immigrants and refugees.
Oct. 16, 2019 – There is a significant justice gap in Wisconsin. Too many of our seniors, veterans, crime victims, and the impoverished need legal assistance but are unable to afford it.
– A woman without a criminal record can’t understand why she’s being turned down for jobs. She goes to a free legal clinic and learns that because someone else falsely used her name, that person’s record comes up under her name. A pro bono attorney helped her clear her name.
– At the courthouse, another pro bono attorney helps an elderly man who was being defrauded by a tow company.
com jmkastner gmail Jill M. Kastner, UCLA School of Law 2000, is president of the State Bar of Wisconsin. She practices in civil poverty law to ensure housing stability for veterans at Legal Action of Wisconsin Inc., Milwaukee.
Without these pro bono attorneys, the first woman would still be getting turned down for jobs and the elderly man would be without his car.
For this year’s Pro Bono Week, please give a bit of your time to help those in need in your community. You can make a real difference in someone’s life by volunteering. For litigators, you can represent crime victims in injunction hearings. If you don’t want to go to court, you can help improve a young person’s employment opportunities in an expungement clinic or provide brief legal advice at a local free legal clinic. There is even a program, Wisconsin Free Legal Answers, where you can answer on-line legal questions at your desk or in your pajamas. You can find other ways to volunteer in the State Bar’s online pro bono directory.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is proud of the 370 lawyers who donated more than 18,500 pro bono hours and were recognized in 2018 as Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society members. To qualify, they performed at least 50 hours of pro bono legal service.
Pro bono service is more than just our ethical duty as attorneys. It builds public support for the legal system, it improves the administration of justice, and it’s a great way to give back to the community. If that doesn’t convince you, how about the free CLE trainingthat is offered to volunteers? Whatever your motivation, sign up during pro bono week. Contact Pro Bono Program Manager Jeff Brown at (608) 250-6177, or org jbrown wisbar wisbar jbrown org.
Pro Bono Spotlight
Beginning in December, we’ll run the Pro Bono Spotlight column saluting members who make a personal commitment to providing access to justice for low-income Wisconsin residents through pro bono service. The State Bar of Wisconsin is proud to recognize members who make a personal commitment to providing access to justice for low-income Wisconsin residents.
Do you know a member who should be highlighted for pro bono service? Contact Pro Bono Program Manager org jbrown wisbar Jeff Brown at (608) 250-6177 or (800) 444-9404, ext. 6177.