Dec. 2, 2014 – On the heels of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” – days conceived to attract holiday shoppers, today is #GivingTuesday, a global day to celebrate generosity and to give back to those organizations that are making a difference in your community.
One such organization is the Wisconsin Law Foundation, the charitable arm of the State Bar of Wisconsin, which 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.
About the Wisconsin Law Foundation
The WLF is the charitable and educational arm of the State Bar of Wisconsin. The Foundation 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. For more information, visit the Wisconsin Law Foundation, or contact Beth Drake at (608) 250-6171 or (800) 444-9404, ext. 6171.
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 this Tuesday. Click here to donate.