July 15, 2013 – The State Bar of Wisconsin debuted one of its four Our Courts Wisconsin programs last week to community members at the historic Richland County Courthouse in Richland Center.
“The program went very well, especially since we had an audience that was extra attentive and participatory,” said Office of Lawyer Regular Litigation Counsel and Our Courts co-presenter Bill Weigel. “Almost everyone in attendance stayed well after the program finished, asking questions and sharing their own experiences.”
Our Courts is the State Bar’s newest educational program and was created to help members of the community develop a better understanding of the courts and legal system.
Weigel and his co-presenter, Judge Edward Leineweber, kicked off the inaugural Our Court’s presentation with Myths & Realities in Wisconsin’s Court, a dynamic program that highlights scenes from popular TV shows and movies.
“Audience members liked the participatory aspect, the humor, and the fast pace of the presentation. The video clips do a great job of telling the tale more fully,” Leineweber added.
Weigel pointed out that in just the past week or two, more than 18 public groups from throughout the state have requested that one of the programs be presented by a judge/attorney team.
Katie Stenz is the public affairs coordinator with the State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached at email@example.com, or by phone at (608) 250-6145.
Our Courts is fueled by volunteers from the legal community. Currently, the program boasts nearly 50 volunteer judges and attorneys who are ready to present the various programs in cities and counties across the state.
“I highly recommend lawyers and judges take part in Our Courts. It’s a great opportunity to work as a team in an effort to better educate our citizens about the court system. Once we’ve achieved that, we will have improved trust and confidence in Wisconsin’s courts,” Leineweber said.
Members of the public also play an important role in the presentations, as they are the ones who request that individual programs come to their events and meetings – everything from lunch gatherings to annual board meetings. All four Our Courts programs are available at no charge to audiences of all ages. The other programs are: Lincoln’s Legacy, Understanding the Criminal Court Process: Protecting the Rights of Wisconsin Citizens, and Understanding the Importance of Your Court System: Courts Serving Wisconsin Citizens.
To volunteer or request that a program come to your area, contact the State Bar of Wisconsin Public Education Program Manager at 608-250-6191 or PubEdCoordinator@wisbar.org. You may also visit www.wisbar.org/OurCourts for more information.