Inside Track: Law Foundation Grants Support New Lawyers Representing Underserved Populations – Apply by Aug. 21:

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    Law Foundation Grants Support New Lawyers Representing Underserved Populations – Apply by Aug. 21

    The Wisconsin Law Foundation provides $2,300 each to three recent law school graduates who represent underserved populations – people who have difficulty affording legal services and those in rural areas with limited access to legal services.
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    Seep Paliwal, Julie Dadoun, and Andrew Yamanaka Belter

    The Wisconsin Law Foundation Belle Case La Follette Awards are given to newer lawyers who work with underserved populations and communities in Wisconsin. The 2019 recipients are, from left: Seep Paliwal of Community Justice Inc., Madison; Julie Dadoun of Passages, Richland Center; and Andrew Yamanaka Belter of Legal Aid of Milwaukee Inc.

    July 15, 2020 – New lawyers: Would you like to receive $2,300 to help pay law school debt or for your practice?

    The Foundation in 2020 will provide Belle Case La Follette Awards to three Wisconsin lawyers, sworn in between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2019, who currently represent underserved populations. These populations include clients in Wisconsin whose legal needs are historically unmet or who live and work in rural areas with limited access to legal services.

    “The awards are part of Foundation’s mission to improve access to justice,” says Joe Troy, chair of the Foundation’s Awards Committee.

    The awards help attorneys meet the needs of residents in rural areas in northern Wisconsin – where attorneys often have to cover multiple counties and are on the road driving more than in their offices. “They also assist attorneys in urban areas helping those of modest means and where language barriers limit access to legal services.”

    Recipients may use the awards at their own discretion – whether that's school loans, office expenses, or to meet other financial needs.

    The Belle Case La Follette Awards are made possible by generous contributions to the Wisconsin Law Foundation.

    More About Past Recipients

    In her work at Passages, Inc., of Richland Center, 2019 recipient Julie Dadoun provides legal services to victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault. The award allows her to provide help to more of those who need it. “The reality is some people that desperately need legal services simply cannot afford an attorney at any price,” Dadoun said.

    As a 2019 recipient, Seep Paliwal of Stafford Rosenbaum LLP in Madison serves as lead attorney for two pro bono initiatives at Community Justice Inc. that assist homeless individuals and those vulnerable to homelessness. “It is my hope that this recognition will help us to spread the word about the work we are doing, and encourage attorneys in our community to participate in pro bono opportunities as they arise,” Paliwal said.

    Andrew Yamanaka Belter, a 2019 recipient, is director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at Legal Aid of Milwaukee Inc. The award is a meaningful way to honor and support young attorney into becoming strong leaders and capable attorneys, said Belter. “Unquestionably, the most powerful and impactful events in my life are those where others invest in me.”

    How to Apply – Deadline is Aug. 21

    One award each is given to a graduate of the U.W. and Marquette University law schools, and to a graduate of an out-of-state law school who is practicing in Wisconsin. Applicants must be sworn in as Wisconsin lawyers between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2019.

    The Foundation Awards Committee considers a number of factors, including the applicant’s professional reputation and achievements, as well as how the applicant represents underserved populations.

    Visit the Foundation's webpage on for more information and to learn how to apply. Applications are due Aug. 21.

    About the Wisconsin Law Foundation

    Wisconsin Law Foundation logo

    The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization that serves to promote public understanding of the law, improvement of the administration of justice, and other law-related public services through funding of innovative and creative programs that improve the vision of the American justice system.

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