July 21, 2021 – New lawyers: Would you like to receive $2,400 to help pay law school debt or for your practice?
The Wisconsin Law Foundation in 2021 will provide Belle Case La Follette Awards to three new Wisconsin lawyers 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 the 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 spend numerous hours driving.
“They also assist attorneys in urban areas helping those of modest means and where language barriers limit access to legal services,” Troy said.
Recipients may use the awards at their own discretion – whether that's school loans, office expenses, or to meet other financial needs.
How to Apply – Deadline is Aug. 20
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, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2020.
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 scholarships and awards information page on WisBar.org for more information and to learn how to apply.
About the Wisconsin Law Foundation
The Belle Case La Follette Awards are made possible by generous contributions to the Wisconsin Law Foundation.
The Wisconsin Law Foundation is the charitable arm of the State Bar of Wisconsin, and through its mission has a rich history of promoting:
public understanding of the law,
improvement of the administration of justice, and
law-related public service through funding of innovative and creative programs that improve the vision of the American justice system.
The Foundation is a nonprofit, nonstock organization, and is open to all State Bar of Wisconsin members. Founded by five visionary attorneys, it was incorporated in 1951 as the Wisconsin Bar Foundation, and through the charitable contributions of our members, has grown into the vital philanthropic law-related organization it is today.
Find out more in the Foundation’s Impact newsletter.
Meet the 2020 Recipients
Meet the three Wisconsin lawyers who are the recipients of the 2020 awards:
Brent Eisberner: Taking on Pro Bono Cases for Veterans
With the help of his Belle Case La Follette Award from the Law Foundation, Brent Eisberner is able help more veterans with disability and unemployment issues. “The award allowed me to worry less about doing pro bono work while also trying to build and maintain a small firm.” Eisberner is a shareholder attorney with Levine Eisberner, Madison, and founder and president of American Veteran Attorneys Association Inc.
J.J. Moore: 400+ Free Answers
Since 2014, Milwaukee attorney J.J. Moore, of Legal Action of Wisconsin, has answered over 400 questions via the American Bar Association’s Free Legal Answers virtual clinic. That’s a lot of answers – and he’s covered topics on Indian law, debts and collections, insurance, expungement, and more.
Thanks to the award, he could fully represent clients from the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics, rather than simply advising them on their next steps. “I was able to redraft a client’s divorce decree to fix the tax language for her, for example,” Moore said. “I’m truly grateful to expand my ability to serve those that otherwise would not be able to be served.”
Deborah Richter: Rural Attorney
Deborah Richter opened her solo practice in Park Falls in 2017. She provides legal services in rural Price County – often pro bono for those unable to pay. Thanks to the award, she was able to fully represent clients from the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics.