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Impact of Your Donation

Everyone wants to make an impact in the world. Now you may think that your donation isn’t going to be enough to matter, but when we combine your donation with a thousand other donations, a huge impact can be made throughout the Badger State.

As a charitable and educational organization, the Foundation seeks to support nonprofit programs that support our mission. From county-run teen court programs in every corner of the state, to Pro Se bankruptcy programs, to printing law-related education pamphlets for teenagers in Spanish and Hmong, to funding the Wisconsin State High School Mock Trial Tournament – the Foundation has been granting funds for over 65 years to innovative and creative programs that improve the vision of the American justice system.

That’s how we make an impact.

The Foundation relies on charitable contributions from individuals, law firms, corporations, and other foundations to help fund our grants, scholarships and awards.

That’s how you can ​make an impact.

Where Does the Money Go?

Put quite simply, our business is awarding grants, scholarships and awards.

If you would like to learn more about the Foundation’s specific grants, scholarships and awards, please visit our What We Do page.

“I am proud to support the Wisconsin Law Foundation beyond my Fellows member pledge, because I know that my contribution is making an impact.”

Attorney Dean R. Dietrich
Dietrich VanderWaal SC, Wausau
2018 Charles L. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award
Foundation President 2009 – 2014
Fellows Class of 2001

Our mission is to make an impact throughout the state

We didn’t name our biannual newsletter Impact by mistake. In 2013, we decided to use our newsletter to showcase the work we’re doing and the impact your donations have made, not only in the legal profession, but for people across Wisconsin.

This is how we are making an impact together:

  • As the charitable arm of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Foundation seeks to expand awareness and strengthen diversity in our legal profession by supporting the Bar’s diversity and inclusion initiatives though the Diversity & Inclusion Designated Fund.
  • Since 1983, the Wisconsin State Mock Trial Tournament​ has made an impact on thousands of high school students from every corner of the state. Mock Trial brings the court system to life for students, many of which go on to become lawyers or work within the legal system. Within twelve years, the Foundation increased support for the program by 300% so that every school and every child could compete in the competition if they wished to.
  • In 2023-24, the Foundation gave out $70,536 in grants, scholarships and awards​. ($7,800 Belle Case La Follette Awards; $7,390 Fund to Enhance and Promote Diversity; $7,150 Donald O'Melia Grants; $4,196 G. Lane Ware Leadership Fund; $26,000 Truman Q. McNulty Grants; $18,000 Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Fund.)​
  • As good stewards of the Foundation, we don’t waste time (or money) producing a 4-color annual report each year. In 2017 we produced a one-page, easy-to-digest infographic report that showcased our activity from July 1, 2011 to July 30, 2017 which was posted in the IMPACT newsletter for all State Bar of Wisconsin members to read. We plan on producing a report every five years. Now that’s making an impact!