Madison, WI – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is working to make a positive difference in the lives of Milwaukee’s young homeless population by offering these individuals access to free legal clinics throughout the month of February.
For more information contact Katie Stenz, public relations coordinator, State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached at org kstenz wisbar wisbar kstenz org, or by phone at (608) 250-6025.
“There is a significant homeless youth population in Milwaukee, many of whom are facing legal issues, and we, as young lawyers are uniquely positioned to make a connection and do our small part to make a difference in our community,” said Elise Libbey, a Milwaukee attorney and chair of the State Bar’s Project Street Youth program. “It is important that we take steps to help where we are able.”
The legal clinics are part of a larger national program, Project Street Youth, which was created by the American Bar Association’s (ABA) YLD to educate and raise awareness of the issues facing homeless youth, as well as to direct lawyers to lobby for policy changes and new legislation.
According to the ABA, almost 40 percent of the more than 1.7 million homeless youth in the U.S. are under the age of 18.
“This is a unique opportunity for lawyers to provide an underserved population with much needed services that may not be readily available to them,” Libbey said.
YLD organizers anticipate that the clinics will address a host of legal issues, including credit and false accusations of fraud, the ability to find housing, expungements of criminal records, public assistance and the difficulties of navigating the legal system.
The legal clinics are scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Pathfinders in Milwaukee.
“We are fortunate to partner with Pathfinders for our legal clinics,” Libbey said. “It’s a great organization doing great work for Milwaukee’s at-risk youth population.”
As of today, more than 30 volunteer attorneys have committed to collectively provide more than 120 hours of free legal advice over the course of the four clinics.
If the Milwaukee clinics are successful, the YLD board will consider expanding the program to other areas of the state.