March 27, 2020 - The current pandemic caused by the new coronavirus has led to some major changes in how our civil legal aid system works. Staffed nonprofit law offices, volunteer lawyer programs, free legal clinics, law school clinics and courthouse legal information services have all experienced major disruptions.
Wisconsin staffed legal aid offices have all made some major changes to how they screen and serve new or existing clients. All physical offices are closed to the public and staff are serving existing clients remotely as much as possible. Screening and intake for new clients is being handled remotely by phone, email or online, depending on the provider.
All in-person free legal clinics for the public have also been suspended. Individuals who would have been directed to a local legal clinic should be referred to Wisconsin Free Legal Answers until further notice.
Free Legal Answers is a web based service that uses volunteer Wisconsin attorneys to respond to any type of civil legal question, including family, housing, employment/unemployment, consumer, health insurance, real estate, and more. Clients should be directed to go to the website wi.freelegalanswers.org and click on Get Started to ask a question. A downloadable flyer about the program is available here. Lawyers can sign up to volunteer through the website by clicking on the Volunteer Attorney Registration link at the top of the website.
The Free Legal Answers website also hosts a page listing other resources that may be helpful.