Podcast: Bottom Up Podcast
The Supplemental Security Income program has the strictest asset limits of any federal program, keeping recipients below the poverty line and unable to cover basic living expenses. Kelsey Brown discusses the limitations the program puts on recipients, andsuggests how the program may be improved to better help its recipients.
In Wisconsin, juveniles at age 17 are subject to adult criminal charges. Matthew Kline delves into the challenges a 17-year-old faces in adult court as opposed to the juvenile justice system.
Gilbert Malis, a tenant's rights attorney, offers tips on how to help you and your clients maximize a security deposit return and how to ensure you are protected in the future.
Homeless children and youth inherently experience instability and trauma due to their homelessness. Megan L. Sprecher discusses the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and how public interest attorneys and advocates can use the federal law to providemuch needed educational stability for homeless children and youth.
If you are already licensed and are considering practicing law in a neighboring or other state, you may consider whether you will need to take a bar exam, CLE requirements, how much it costs to apply, etc. Kate Cook lays out some of those considerationsto give you an idea of different states’ requirements.
Social Security Disability payments for disabled individuals reentering society from incarceration are an important lifeline, allowing them to achieve the kind of independence and economic stability that promotes community ties and reduces recidivism. Kelsey Brown presents reasons for these delays and concludes with the impact the delays have on her clients’ lives.
To address labor shortages, agricultural and dairy leaders are lobbying Congress for immigration reform. Heidi Rattner discusses proposed legislative reforms for immigrant laborers and the economic and human issues at stake.
Indigent Wisconsin civil litigants face an uphill battle in finding representation. Amanda R.R. Mayer discusses some of the challenges and opportunities for attorneys to help.
As attorneys, we find it easy to focus only on the legal issue in front of us. Yet, many of our clients face multiple legal issues simultaneously. By using referrals and the strong network of public interest attorneys in this state, we can provide moreholistic and complete legal representation for our clients.
Individuals with non-apparent disabilities experience greater risks during encounters with law enforcement and first responders. Christine J. Huberty explains how hidden disabilities can be misunderstood, and how to disclose this information onidentification cards to improve safety.
The Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to provide competent, diligent representation to clients. This includes, among other things, understanding our clients’ lived realities, even when they differ from our own experiences. Elizabeth Stinebaugh considers that soon, courses that focus on learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion may be allowed to fulfill continuing legal education requirements.
Qualified interpreters are an integral piece of ensuring access to justice for Wisconsin’s population with limited English proficiency. Megan L. Sprecher explains the interpreter qualification categories and interpreter procedures for circuit andappellate courts.
With the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, public interest work can be a viable career option for many Wisconsin attorneys. Susan Lund discusses the program and the real-life experiences of Wisconsin public interest lawyers.
The economics involved in the payment of care in child protective services cases can be complex. Andrew Morgan discusses the sources of funding and offers a broader perspective as to how economics may affect these types of cases.
It can be challenging to find ways to reach clients who are indigent. In this April Tip of the Month, Kelsey Brown offers several tips to help you successfully reach out to indigent clients.
The first year of legal practice can be overwhelming, particularly for public interest attorneys working for small organizations with few mentoring resources. Elizabeth Stinebaugh offers tips and tricks from seasoned attorneys on what they “wish they knew” in their first year of practice.
The idea to “bring your authentic self to work” can be problematic for professionals of color, writes Jennifer Johnson. In this Tip of the Month, Johnson discusses how microaggressions make it difficult for her and other Black women to feel comfortablebringing their authentic selves to work.
In this Tip of the Month, Irene Au-Young discusses the growing interest by legal professionals in the area of animal law. She provides resources and ideas about how public interest lawyers can get involved as advocates for the interests of animals.
There are many free resources available for Wisconsin attorneys – but do you know what they are and where to find them? Amanda R. Mayer talks about free tools and websites that can give your legal research a boost.
A recent poll shows that the top reasons students enter law school are for a career in politics, government, or public service – yet only a small fraction of them become public interest lawyers. Jacob Haller discusses the reasons why, and offers a suggestion that can make a difference.
Through Legal Aid Society’s EvictionFreeMKE, residents in Milwaukee County at or below 200% of the federal poverty level now qualify for free representation in an eviction case. Joe Riepenhoff discusses why this is a good start to stemming an overwhelming need.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is an underutilized benefit, especially for older adults. In this Tip of the Month, Christine J. Huberty discusses how you can help promote and destigmatize Wisconsin’s FoodShare program for this vulnerable population.
Attorneys practicing public interest law may frequently hear this question from a client. Kate Cook discusses ways to respond – and how that response can build a more trusting relationship with your client.
Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine offers unique protections for Wisconsin's waterways. Andrew Morgan discusses the application of Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine to the state's surface waters.
Because of its tax-free forgiveness, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) borrowers can lower their monthly payment by maximizing their retirement contributions. Bradley Yanke discusses this way to lower PSLF monthly payments.
The CDC’s eviction moratorium ends March 31, 2021. In this Tip of the Month, Elizabeth Groeschel details Wisconsin programs that offer rental assistance to clients who need it.
As public interest attorneys, we should approach our client representation in a holistic way, says Elizabeth Stinebaugh. In this Tip of the Month, Stinebaugh discusses a helpful resource – the Crime Victims Compensation program, which assists those who ha
Grief can interfere with our ability to practice law, if not managed well. While 2020 was a significant year in many respects, it affected our ability to confront and manage grief. Amy Devine offers tips for managing grief post-2020, including in your lawpractice.
Conversations around inequality and oppression are difficult and sometimes uncomfortable, but are valuable and necessary, says Joseph Riepenhoff, who explores concepts of identity and power that may help lawyers and the profession to move intentionally toward equality and inclusion.
In March 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, providing stimulus payments to U.S. citizens. After a court battle and as of October 2020, IRS is required to stop denying payments to people based on their incarceration status. Act quickly – the deadline fo
Domestic abuse is a serious societal problem, the ramifications of which are felt in every community. Megan Sprecher and Araceli Wence provide tips for working with survivors of domestic abuse.
Health insurance coverage may change for many people this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Christine Huberty discusses key points of the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplace in 2020 for both existing and new enrollees.
Language in President Trump’s Aug. 8, 2020, executive order on COVID-19 loan relief is different from that of the CARES Act. Clarification issued by the Department of Education states that, despite the original language, the latest student loan relief order does allow otherwise eligible borrowers to count the deferred payments towards PSLF.
With Wisconsin schools closed due to the pandemic, uncertainty remains for what will happen in the fall. Andrew Morgan discusses the differences among charter and virtual charter schools and home schooling in Wisconsin.
The U.S. Department of Education recently changed its standards on what qualifies as a “public service organization” under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Bradley Yanke talks about the decision – prompted by a 2016 lawsuit – and what it meanss for public interest lawyers.
The current COVID-19 pandemic impacts everyone and everything, including federal student loans. LizGroeschel details Section 3513 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides temporary relief for federal student loan borrowers.
If your student loans are forgiven as part of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, are they taxed? Amy Devine discusses the tax implications of student loans and forgiveness programs.
Attorneys seeking to use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program must comply with certain requirements to have their student loans forgiven. In this Tip of the Month, Amanda Rabe discusses qualifying payments.
In this Tip of the Month, Jacob Haller discusses how knowing and applying the research behind childhood maltreatment and its impacts can result in better advocacy for our clients.
Borrowers working toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness should do all they can to ensure that they are on track for loan forgiveness. In this Tip of the Month, Susan Lund gives tips about when to submit the Employment Certification Form. “All borrowersshould also remember to diligently document and independently verify as much information from loan servicers as possible,” she writes.
A new Department of Homeland Security rule is causing many immigrant families to be fearful about using public benefits they qualify for. Megan Sprecher discusses the rule and its impact in the Tip of the Month.
As a public interest attorney, you may have low-income clients not taking public benefits they are eligible for. When that happens, says Erica Lopez, it is critical to the clients to find out why.
In the May installment of the PILS Tip of the Month, Elisabeth Stockbridge offers some insights to help ease the process of delivering bad news to clients.
When working an eviction defense case – especially ones involving nonpayment – finding the defense tactic can seem an impossible task. Yu Ha Kim discusses one such case – and show she found a tactic that she hopes will work.
In this Tip of the Month installment, Amy Devine explains supported decision-making and the provisions for supported decision-making in Wis. Stat. chapter 52.
In this Tip of the Month, Kate Schilling identifies some of the tactics employed by Medicare scam artists and offers tips to help clients avoid becoming victims of fraud.
In the January 2019 Tip of the Month, Jennifer Johnson explains why law firms should commit to enhancing diversity and inclusion, and offers tips for achieving that goal. “Diversity in a law firm helps spur innovation, and that is a key to success,” she writes.
In the December Tip of the Month, Amanda Rabe notes several of the significant changes resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. “The impact of these changes has a distinct impact in family law,” she writes.
In the November 2018 Tip of the Month, Jacob Haller reflects on the reasons to consider a career in public interest law.
In the October Tip of the Month, Rich Lavigne reflects on a weekend at the National Public Health Law Conference in Phoenix.
In the September 2018 Tip of the Month, Susan Lund discusses alternatives to driver’s license suspension for low income individuals unable to pay forfeitures in circuit and municipal courts.
In this PILS Tip of the Month, Liz Groeschel explains how Emergency Assistance can help clients avoid eviction and pay for housing and utility expenses in times of financial crisis.
In the August 2018 Tip of the Month, Elizabeth Stinebaugh shares resources for clients who have questions regarding consumer rights issues.
In the June installment of the PILS Tip of the Month, Colin Good reflects on his year as section chair, the future goals for the section board, and opportunities for members to contribute to advancing the public interest.
In the April 2018 Tip of the Month, Yu Ha Kim shares stories of personally traumatic experiences in her public interest law career, and offers advice for a healthy approach to moving beyond trauma.
In this March Public Interest Law Section Tip of the Month, Samir Jaber offers tips for maintaining positive relations with agencies, judges, and opposing counsel.
In the February Tip of the Month, Kate Schilling explains what Medicare beneficiaries should look for in the transition to new member identification cards, and how to avoid related identity-theft scams.
In the January 2018 Tip of the Month, Susan Fisher shares resources and tips for electronic research for lawyers with limited access to commercial legal research platforms.
In the December Tip of the Month, attorney Amanda Rabe explains Wisconsin’s Safe at Home program, which protects the confidentiality of victims of abuse or threatened abuse.
In November’s Tip of the Month, Mitch Hagopian explains how the state legislature’s efforts to restrict the rule-making capacity of state agencies can provide a basis to challenge policy initiatives that exceed the scope of statutory authority.
In this October installment of the Public Interest Law Section Tip of the Month, attorney Richard Lavigne serves up the real dish on a bounty of changes ready to be laid at the table of Wisconsin’s FoodShare program.
In the September Public Interest Law Section Tip of the Month, Susan Lund explains the process for addressing inaccurate records in a criminal history report.
Looking for low-cost CLE courses? Elizabeth Stinebaugh shares some resources in this July 2017 Tip of the Month.
In this June 2017 Tip of the Month, Colin Good offers some advice to job seekers about proactively addressing items that may cause concern in an employment-related background check.
The eligibility for student loan forgiveness with the American Bar Association's Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is most likely safe and sound for most public interest and government lawyers. But, as Cathleen Dettmann explains in this May 2017 Tip of the Month, lawyers who work for a public service organization should check whether their employment actually qualifies.
Feeling stressed after a court hearing didn't go your way or after a difficult client meeting? Worried about an upcoming trial on the calendar? Karen Bauer offers some helpful ideas for relieving work-related stress in this April 2017 Tip of the Month.
Kate Schilling reviews some best practices for keeping the law office a safe and inclusive place for LGBTQ clients, in this February 2017 Tip of the Month.
Samir Jaber offers some resources for learning how to efficiently use Google as a free legal research tool in this March 2017 Tip of the Month.
In this January 2017 Tip of the Month, Susan Fisher discusses key parts of the open records law, and suggests helpful resources.
In this Tip of the Month from December 2016, Amanda Bergman discusses the Good Clause Claim – which allows a parent in certain circumstances to request an exception when State seeks to pursue child support.
In this Tip of the Month from November 2016, Melanie Cairns, Disability Rights Wisconsin, outlines recent public benefits updates, including cost-of-living adjustment from the Social Security Administration for 2017 and the expansion of protections under the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Used properly, the federal Medicaid mandate Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Testing can give children access to health care services that would not normally be available under a state's Medicaid plan. Learn more in this Tip of the Month for October 2016 from Richard Lavigne.
In this Tip of the Month from September 2016, Susan Lund reviews post-judgment motions to protect low-income defendants threatened with sanctions or arrest due to inability to pay non-criminal municipal forfeitures.