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  • June 15, 2016

    Wisconsin Law Foundation Grants Empower Educational Law-related Programs in 2016

    In 2016, the Wisconsin Law Foundation awarded more than $32,000 in grants for law-related educational programs across the state.

    June 15, 2016 – The Wisconsin Law Foundation’s grants support programs that have a significant impact on the public, students, and those who need access to the legal system but cannot afford it.

    This year, the Foundation awarded a total of $32,363 in grants to law-related programs in Wisconsin, including several small, high-impact programs, statewide programs, and scholarships that promote leadership in young lawyers.

    With the help of the Foundation’s grants, these programs will:

    • help educate the public on how to navigate the ever-changing health insurance landscape,

    • provide access to legal services and representation to individuals who cannot afford but don’t qualify for legal assistance,

    • help potential litigants who are learning about the family court process,

    • help speakers of Hmong and Spanish access the legal system,

    • support first-time juvenile offenders in teen courts, and

    • support the State Bar-sponsored High School Mock Trial Tournament and Our Courts Wisconsin program.

    The grants include the Truman Q. McNulty Grants, grants for the State Bar’s law-related education programs, and Donald O’Melia Scholarships.

    Grants for Charitable or Educational Programs

    Eight programs received Truman Q. McNulty Grants in 2016. The McNulty grants are up to $2,000 awarded to charitable or educational programs that promote public understanding of the law, or improve the administration of justice, or are a law-related public service project.

    Recipients of the 2016 grants are:

    • ABC for Health, Inc. received $1,975 to co-sponsor the “Follow the Golden Rules” project. ABC for Health takes a multi-pronged training approach, combining live in-person workshops with an on-demand component to present and distribute accurate, timely, and culturally appropriate legal information to those who serve low-income Wisconsin residents. A nonprofit public interest law firm with three offices around the state, ABC for Health is dedicated to expanding health care access for children and families.

    • Boys & Girls Club of Portage County, Inc. received $2,000 to expand their Peer Court program. The program assists the remediation of youth that have committed first offense, low-level crimes. The grant will allow 10 youth to participate in the Peer Court program during the 2016-17 school year.

    • Centro Legal received $2,000 to support its Family Law Consultation Program. The program educates potential pro se litigants about the family court process, helps them understand their legal situation and options, and informs them about the resources available to them at the courthouse, Centro Legal, and other community agencies.

    • Community Immigration Law Center received $1,000 to print and distribute a brochure about the free walk-in clinic. This Madison-based, pro bono project provides legal information regarding immigration matters to individuals and groups who might otherwise not have access to the legal system.

    • Crawford County Teen Court and the Winnebago County Teen Court received grants of $1,610 and $2,000, respectively. Teen court programs typically hear the cases of juveniles between the ages of 12 and 17 who have committed their first nonviolent offenses or who are minor repeat offenders. The goals are restitution to the community and victims, and giving youth an opportunity to become accountable for their behavior and to develop as responsible citizens.

    • State Bar of Wisconsin New Lawyer Challenges Committee received $915 to support the new Bus Tour of Greater Wisconsin program, taking place on Oct. 7-8, 2016, in Rhinelander and Marinette. The tour is a free networking program for new lawyers and law students interested in learning more about life and practice in rural Wisconsin.

    • Wisconsin Coalition Against Violence (End Abuse) RISE Law Center received $1,500 to extend its online reach, including translating its website into Hmong and Spanish to bridge gaps to pro bono legal assistance. RISE provides pro bono and low-cost legal services to immigrant victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in areas of family law, immigration law, and protection orders.

    What is the Wisconsin Law Foundation?

    The Wisconsin Law Foundation is a charitable and educational organization that serves to promote public understanding of the law, improvement of the administration of justice and other law-related public service through funding of innovative and creative programs that improve the vision of the American justice system.

    The Foundation offers lawyers many opportunities to join their colleagues in supporting programs that have a long-lasting, positive impact on Wisconsin adults and youth. Through membership dues, donor-advised designated funds, and will provisions, contributors can direct their donations to specific law-related programs.

    To make a donation, visit the Foundation’s donation page on

    Educational Programs with Statewide Impact

    The State Bar’s Law-related Education programs received $11,500 to support the High School Mock Trial Tournament and Our Courts Wisconsin program, which promote awareness of the law and citizenship through interactive educational experiences.

    • The High School Mock Trial Tournament familiarizes students with the American legal system with students participating in a trial simulation as lawyers and witnesses. The program received $5,500 from the Foundation.

    • The Our Courts Wisconsin program offers nonpartisan informational programs to adult audiences throughout Wisconsin. Specially trained legal professionals make presentations free of charge to community groups. The program is expanding; judges and lawyers are needed to volunteer with the program, which received $6,000 from the Foundation.

    Donald O’Melia Scholarships Fund Young Lawyer Leadership Development

    This year seven young lawyers who participated in the 2016 State Bar Leadership Development Summit received Donald O’Melia Scholarships to cover the cost of tuition and meals for the 2016 State Bar Annual Meeting & Conference in Green Bay. In exchange, the recipients commit to serving in a voluntary leadership position with the State Bar or a local bar association. Through this grant, the Foundation commits to mentoring and cultivating the next generation of State Bar leaders.

    Apply for Truman McNulty Grants by April 7, 2017

    The Foundation reviews grant applications each spring. Requests for McNulty Grants up to $2,000 for fiscal year 2017 must submitted by April 7, 2017. To apply, visit the Foundation’s grant information web page on or contact Beth Drake at (800) 444-9404 ext.6171.

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