Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award

State Bar of Wisconsin

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Pro Bono Attorney of the Year

The Legal Assistance Committee promotes the establishment and maintenance of organizations that provide legal services to low- and moderate-income people. It explores new ways to increase the accessibility of legal services. The committee provides encouragement and assistance to others in improving legal services delivery while promoting pro bono service to Wisconsin lawyers as a way to give back.

To that end, the Legal Assistance Committee recognizes attorneys and organizations for their outstanding pro bono service through the Pro Bono Attorney/Organization of the Year Awards.

Alexander Lodge

Alexander Lodge is the 2020 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. Lodge is an associate with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Chemical, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Practice. He focuses his practice on patent procurement, both U.S. and foreign prosecution, assessing risk mitigation through freedom-to-operate and invalidity opinions and IP patent portfolio management. He has also worked tirelessly to lead pro bono efforts related to conviction expungement and arrest record correction in the Greater Madison area.

In 2019, he led recruitment efforts to train over 40 volunteers to run expungement clinics. At these free clinics, Lodge and a coalition of stakeholders – including the Urban League of Greater Madison, the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha, the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers, Foley & Lardner LLP, the City of Racine, the County of Racine, U.W. Law School, Legal Action of Wisconsin, and volunteer attorneys – helped over 220 low-income clients. The coalition provided services including conviction expungement, driver’s license reinstatement, and removing damaging information from criminal record reports that create barriers to employment and professional licensing.

These efforts are critical in helping low-income Wisconsinites take the necessary steps to finding meaningful, stable employment, and in effect, helping to lower the state’s 10.8% poverty rate. As Lodge says, “Unfortunately, our society treats a criminal record as a scarlet letter”; in helping clients, “you’re lifting a burden off [of] someone’s shoulders. And they are able to see that there is a huge community of legal professionals committed to seeing everyone in our community as valuable.”

Lodge has a B.S. from Grambling State University in Louisiana, a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Iowa, and a J.D. from the Iowa College of Law. ​

 
 ​​Watch the presentation of the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award
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