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  • WisBar News
    December 01, 2015

    On this #GivingTuesday: Please Consider the Wisconsin Law Foundation

    On #GivingTuesday, a day of giving back to the community, please consider donating to the Wisconsin Law Foundation, which has a long-lasting and positive impact on Wisconsin’s citizens and the legal community.

    Dec. 1, 2015 – On the heels of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” – events designed to attract holiday shoppers – today is #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, by celebrating generosity and donating to organizations that make a difference in your community.

    One such organization is the Wisconsin Law Foundation 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.

    Your support will empower the Foundation in 2016 to:

    · Bring our court system to life for more than 1,000 high school students across Wisconsin with the High School Mock Trial program.

    · Engage hundreds of Wisconsinites to better understand our third branch of government through the Our Courts Wisconsin program.

    · Seed new initiatives that enhance and support diversity in our profession.

    · Provide scholarships that assist new lawyers with debt reduction and establishing their practice.

    · Fund individual grants to innovative programs that improve our justice system.

    · Enable up to 24 future State Bar leaders to participate in the Annual Meeting & Conference in Green Bay through the Don O’Melia Scholarship program.

    Build Future Leaders with Mock Trial

    The Foundation supports the High School Mock Trial program, which builds future leaders, as described in this December 2013 article in Wisconsin Lawyer. Brian Pierson, a lawyer at Godfrey & Kahn in Milwaukee, recalls the experience of watching his children participate in the Mock Trial program.

    “Mock Trial teaches kids to understand controlling principles, master a set of facts, and make a cogent, persuasive argument to a group of strangers – a life skill of inestimable value in any field. The experience was terrifying, exhilarating, and tremendously rewarding for my three children,” said Pierson.

    Educate the Public with Our Courts Wisconsin

    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.

    Cultivate Future State Bar Leaders

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

    This summer, 10 young lawyers received scholarships to pay tuition and meals at the 2015 State Bar Annual Meeting & Conference in June. In exchange, the recipients committed to get involved in State Bar leadership by serving on a committee.

    One of the young lawyers, Rose Simon, assistant city attorney with the City of Sheboygan, is now a board member with the Young Lawyers Division, and has joined the Government Lawyers Division and the Administration and Local Government Section.

    “I didn’t realize how much was out there,” Simon said of the State Bar. “It’s great to make connections with different people throughout the state.”

    Support Access to the Legal System

    The Foundation’s annual grants also help legal organizations provide free or low-cost legal services. In 2015, the Foundation awarded $35,495 to law-related programs, including the Truman Q. McNulty Grants for charitable or educational programs.  A recipient of the Truman Q. McNulty Grant is ABC for Health, a nonprofit public interest law firm that helps low-income clients obtain and maintain health care coverage.

    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. Any level of contribution is gratefully appreciated. Donate now.

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