Inside Track: Pro Bono Initiative grants available for legal assistance projects, applications due May 13:

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  • Pro Bono Initiative grants available for legal assistance projects, applications due May 13

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    April 20, 2011 – The State Bar’s Legal Assistance Committee is soliciting applications by May 13, for grants of up to $5,000 from members or organizations to develop or expand pro bono legal assistance projects in their communities. “The success of the Pro Bono Initiative depends on individual and organizational ingenuity to expand our culture of giving back through pro bono service,” says State Bar Pro Bono Coordinator Jeff Brown.

    According to Brown, “The fragile economy has increased the need for civil legal aid to the poor, but funding for the full-time programs that provide those services has dropped along with the economy. Our State Bar Pro Bono Surveys have repeatedly shown that volunteer lawyers are a key means of delivering legal services to low-income and disadvantaged people in Wisconsin. Clearly, many lawyers want to help close the justice gap.”

    The Pro Bono Initiative, approved by the Board of Governors in May 2004, is a steady source of support from the State Bar for pro bono in Wisconsin. It encompasses the Just Take Two pledge, free LexisNexis time for pro bono cases, free malpractice insurance coverage for volunteer service in State Bar-sponsored pro bono projects along with regular awards of free CLE to recruit and recognize outstanding volunteers.

    The State Bar Pro Bono Initiative is a statewide-coordinated program to support, recognize, and increase lawyers’ volunteer legal efforts. In collaboration with the judiciary, legal services providers, and local bar organizations, the initiative works to improve public access to the legal system by promoting solutions that eliminate barriers to effective access to the civil justice system.

    Applications for grants must be received at the State Bar by May 13. For more information, contact org jbrown wisbar Jeff Brown at (608) 250-6177, or (800) 444-9404, ext. 6177.