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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    July 01, 2013

    Your State Bar: Making an Impact, One Donation at a Time

    Your financial contributions to the Wisconsin Law Foundation will help ensure the future of programs that improve the lives of Wisconsin residents.

    George C. Brown

    Whether it was a teenager who had gotten himself in enough trouble that he needed to face some serious consequences as decided by his peers, or it was a teenager who was preparing to present a case before a lawyer judge, you were there to help. Whether it was a family that was on the verge of violence and needed help getting over their stress and anger, or whether it was an individual needing to access the health care system or the court system, you were there to help.

    George C. BrownGeorge C. Brown is the executive director for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    You helped because you made your donations to the Wisconsin Law Foundation. In 2012, the Foundation awarded more than $24,000 to various legal and civic organizations whose purpose is to help people understand or navigate the legal system. But we’ve only scratched the surface; the demand for these programs is great and continuing.

    By educating individuals about the family court system in Milwaukee, Centro Legal helps them understand what they need to do to represent themselves in court and relieves the court of some of the burden of working with pro se litigants. Tomorrow’s leaders receive a thorough understanding of the system of justice through the Foundation’s funding assistance to the State Bar’s high school mock trial tournament. Many mock trial participants become community and business leaders as adults, and some even become lawyers and judges.

    Wisconsin Law Foundation funding also supports programs that help people avoid having to go to court, thus relieving the court system of that burden, while at the same time providing resolution to the problem at hand. Funding the Crawford County Teen Court allows nonviolent or repeat juvenile offenders to be judged by a panel of their peers, who mete out consequences that they believe fit the offense. Offenders often are required to serve as jurors so that they can understand actions from the other point of view. The Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay Inc. received a grant to fund mediation for people whose disputes have not risen to the point of legal harassment and therefore have no recourse through the court system. The issues that led to stress and anger can then be addressed through the mediation process, often preventing the need to go to court in the future.

    Many of you already have joined in support of the work of the Wisconsin Law Foundation through the donation you made with the State Bar Dues and Supreme Court Assessments statement. Others of you have contributed by donating the honorarium you received from PINNACLE for speaking at a CLE program. And some of you have donated through the Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation program or have simply mailed a check. All donations are appreciated and, you can see, are put to good use.

    As the charitable arm of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Law Foundation is making an even more significant impact now than it has in the past. The Foundation Board is working to build the Foundation’s financial endowment to ensure that significant contributions to worthy work can be made in the future. They can use your help to help others. To donate, contact State Bar Customer Service at (800) 727-7788; mail your check payable to Wisconsin Law Foundation, P.O. Box 6127, Madison, WI 53718-2101; or visit

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