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  • Press Release
    April 07, 2020

    Coronavirus raises new legal questions for consumers: Where to turn for help

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                 
    Contact Mike Wiltse, 608-354-6385 
    April 7, 2020                                                                                                           

    Coronavirus raises new legal questions for consumers:

    Where to turn for help

    Madison, WI – Wisconsinites are encountering a whole new set of legal issues and concerns related to t he new coronavirus and COVID-19 including placement arrangements when one parent has been exposed to the coronavirus and the other has not; workplace safety questions; unforeseen medical bills and consumer debt; unemployment benefits; powers of attorney; landlord-tenant issues, including evictions; and real estate sales and home foreclosures.

    While many free legal clinics are closed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Wisconsin residents can turn to a web portal called WisconsinFree Legal Answers​. A project of the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission, it is supported by the State Bar of Wisconsin and the national ABA Free Legal Answers. Civil, not criminal, legal questions are answered by Wisconsin lawyers. It is a free service.

    Clients go through an online screening process to establish financial eligibility and agree to the limited scope of the assistance provided. All communications between lawyers and clients are confidential and take place through a secure website. Clients receive an email notification when an attorney responds to their question.

    “We have 250 volunteer lawyers who are ready to answer questions, and we anticipate a surge in questions as the public experiences the impact of the coronavirus in the work and personal lives,” said Jeff Brown, State Bar pro bono manager.

    In 2019, Wisconsin Free Legal Answers volunteers responded to nearly 1,000 questions.

    As a public service, the State Bar of Wisconsin also offers a Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS), 800-362-9082, to help individuals determine whether they need a lawyer, and provide referrals to appropriate attorneys and appropriate government or community resources. The service is also available online. Attorneys referred through LRIS agree to charge no more than $20 for the first consultation, up to one half hour.

    Media: Jeff Brown is available for interviews. Contact Mike Wiltse, 608-354-6385, to schedule.

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    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a Wisconsin law license. With more than 25,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the value of lawyers. For more information, visit

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