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  • InsideTrack
  • December 03, 2014

    Make an Impact with Your End-of-Year Giving: Support the Law Foundation

    Dec. 3, 2014 – People give for a variety of reasons – the desire to help others, personal experience with a program or organization, because it just makes us feel good about ourselves – but everyone wants their gift to make an impact.

    Donating to the Wisconsin Law Foundation ensures your gift will make a difference. As the charitable arm of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Foundation promotes public understanding of the law and supports creative programs that have a long-lasting, positive impact on Wisconsin youth and adults.

    Since 1996, the Foundation has used donations to distribute more than $295,000 in grants to support law-related education and public service programs statewide.

    For instance, the Foundation supports high school mock trial, which began in the early 1980s and familiarizes hundreds of Wisconsin students with the American legal system each year by putting them through a trial simulation as lawyers and witnesses.

    In 2014, the Foundation donated $25,000 to help the State Bar of Wisconsin host the National High School Mock Trial Championship, which was held in Madison.

    Mock trial builds real leaders. For Kelly Thimm, now a judge for the Douglas County Circuit Court, the mock trial experience was a catalyst for future success. “I’m not sure I would have taken [my] career path if I did not participate in mock trial.”

    The Foundation also supports Our Courts Wisconsin, an interactive program that educates the public about the courts and the legal system. Lawyers and judges teach and engage adult audiences through presentations at community centers statewide.

    Through the Don O’Melia Scholarship, the Foundation makes an ongoing commitment to support the mentoring and cultivation of the next generation of State Bar leaders.

    This summer, 48 young lawyers received scholarships to pay tuition and meals at the 2014 State Bar Annual Meeting & Conference (AMC) in June. In exchange, the recipients committed get involved in State Bar leadership by serving on committee.

    Yvonne Ochilo, a 2011 graduate of Marquette Law School, received a scholarship and said attending the AMC was a positive experience, both professionally and personally. 

    “As a young lawyer, the scholarship made it feasible to attend the conference and enhanced my desire to continue serving on State Bar committees,” Ochilo said.

    The Foundation’s annual grants also help legal organizations provide free or low-cost legal services. In 2014, the Foundation awarded $24,000 to law-related programs.

    The Truman Q. McNulty Grants, for instance, helps Centro Legal provide legal representation to diverse, low-income clients in Milwaukee, and supports ABC for Health’s effort in helping clients navigate a complicated health care system in Madison.

    These are just a few of the people and programs that depend on the Wisconsin Law Foundation for their continued success. Even a $10 donation can make a major impact on your profession, future leaders, and local community.

    Please consider giving. Click here to donate.


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