25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction: Interview with Jacob Haller

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The 25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 16 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  Jacob Haller, a current law student, and the Public Interest Student of the Year, shares his experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

The Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office—Milwaukee County Drug Treatment Court.

What kind of work did you do there?

The Milwaukee County Drug Treatment Court is a pioneering specialty court aimed at addressing addiction as a root of criminality.  The MCDTC works with non-violent offenders who are facing nine months or more of incarceration.  The defendants are given the option to participate in a 12-18 month intensive rehab program supervised by the court.  I worked with defendants and their families to ensure that goals set by the court were being met.  This meant working with a defendant directly, as well as service providers, district attorneys, and employers to enure the best possible outcome for the defendant and the broader community.

Continue reading “25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction: Interview with Jacob Haller”

25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction: Interview with Grace Gall

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The 25th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 16 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  Grace Gall, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

I worked as a PILS Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee in the Civil Division.

What kind of work did you do there?

Legal Aid provides free legal service to individuals throughout Milwaukee who cannot afford private legal counsel. I worked mainly on Civil Rights cases for indigent clients who required Legal Aid service. I did several client interviews for cases involving excessive bail or use of segregated housing within jails. I also worked in the Civil Division on cases dealing with Landlord Tenant law. I helped prepare case documents and did research on a variety of topics.

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Jacob Haller Named Public Interest Student of the Year

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, Public2 Comments on Jacob Haller Named Public Interest Student of the Year

Even before he began law school, Jacob Haller was involved in the kind of public interest work that is at the heart of Marquette Law School’s pro bono efforts. He continued on that path as a law student. Now in his last semester at the Law School, Haller has been named this year’s Outstanding Public Interest Law Student.

Angela Schultz, assistant dean for public service, said that as an undergraduate at Marquette University, Haller worked as an intern at the Milwaukee Justice Center and an intern in the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s office.

As a law student, Haller became involved in many public service opportunities, including the Public Interest Law Society and clinics offering people help with family law and domestic violence problems. Haller won two PILS summer fellowships to do public interest legal work. He is currently co-president of PILS. Schultz said he will graduate in May with honors for completing more than 500 hours of pro bono work. Continue reading “Jacob Haller Named Public Interest Student of the Year”

The Myth About Practicing IP

Posted on Categories Intellectual Property Law, Legal Practice, Pro Bono, Public1 Comment on The Myth About Practicing IP

I was recently visiting a relative in the hospital when the attending physician struck up a conversation with my family.  When he found out that I am an attorney, he asked about my area of practice.  I told him that I practice product liability defense and intellectual property litigation.  He then asked me the following question, a variation of which has been posed to me dozens of times over the past five years:  “What type of engineer are you?”

I am an English major, and I practice IP litigation.  Not only do I not have a science background, but I made a concerted effort to avoid science classes in college.  Law schools precipitate a myth that you can’t practice IP without a science background.  It’s a myth because it’s not true.  I’m proof.  (Disclaimer:  it is true that you can’t prosecute patents before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office without a science background.  But patent prosecution is only one part of IP.) Continue reading “The Myth About Practicing IP”

Welcome Our July Guest Blogger

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A fireworks display in the night sky showing a burst of red color.On this sunny Fourth of July, please join me in welcoming our Student Blogger for the month of July, Alex Castro.

Alex is currently a rising 3L at Marquette University Law School. He was born and raised in south Florida and graduated from the University of Florida in 2014. He has a life-long interest in sports, music and traveling. Alex hopes to pursue a career in corporate and business transactional law, and this summer he is working for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company in Milwaukee.  He is also participating in the Law School’s Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic. During his law school career, Alex has been active in the Hispanic community, and he plans on continuing his commitment to inclusion and diversity during his legal career through his membership in professional and legal organizations.

Welcome, Alex, and we look forward to reading your posts.

Saving by Investing in Civil Legal Aid

Posted on Categories Civil Rights, Family Law, Legal Profession, Poverty & Law, Pro Bono, PublicLeave a comment» on Saving by Investing in Civil Legal Aid

Kara is a single parent with two children. She works full-time, but still makes less than $1,500 each month. Kara’s boyfriend Jay, the father of one of Kara’s two children, lives with her, but does not always contribute to the household. In addition, he’s physically abusive to the family cat and to Kara. After the most recent incident where Jay pushed Kara into the wall and grabbed her arm so hard he left a bruise, Kara wants him to leave. And she wants a restraining order. But knowing who to call and where to go—and, most of all, how to pay for services she’ll need—is overwhelming her. If Kara lives in a state that invests in civil legal aid, she’ll have no problem finding resources and will be able to have a lawyer represent her—at little to no cost to her—at any court hearing she needs to get a domestic violence injunction.

While Kara’s story is merely illustrative—though many people experience circumstances like Kara’s every day—its larger point is important. Civil legal aid is a combination of services and resources that helps Americans of all backgrounds—including those who face the toughest legal challenges: children, veterans, seniors, ill or disabled people, and victims of domestic violence—to effectively navigate the justice system. Civil legal aid helps ensure fairness for all in the justice system, regardless of one’s ability to pay. It provides access to legal help for people to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. Civil legal aid makes it easier to access information through court forms; legal assistance or representation; and legal self-help centers. Civil legal aid also helps streamline the court system and cuts down on court and other public costs. When we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we close with “justice for all.” We need civil legal aid to ensure that the very principle our founders envisioned remains alive: justice for all, not the few who can afford it.

Our state has had a rocky history of funding civil legal aid programs. While the state did begin such funding, of late, that funding has since dropped precipitously. In 2007, for the first time in Wisconsin history, the legislature included nearly $2 million in the state budget for civil legal aid. In 2009, the funding was increased to just over $2.5 million. But in 2011, the funding was eliminated completely from the state budget. From 2012-2015, Wisconsin was one of just three states that did not provide any funding for civil legal aid for low income people. (The other two are Florida and Idaho.) Continue reading “Saving by Investing in Civil Legal Aid”

24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow David Conley

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The 24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) was held on February 17 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  David Conley, a current law student, shares his experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

The Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office—Juvenile Division Milwaukee County

What kind of work did you do there?

The Law Offices of the Wisconsin State Public Defender represents indigent people who face criminal charges. However, the State Public Defender’s Office actually covers a variety of different cases where people are in need of legal representation. Milwaukee County is divided into two main offices. One office, (MKE Trial) handles adult criminal cases. The other office, (MKE Juvenile) represents juvenile clients facing a variety of life obstacles. These obstacles could be: (1) a juvenile delinquency petition, (2) a CHIPS (child in need of protective services) petition, or (3) a JIPS (juvenile in need of protective services) petition. The public defenders office advocates for juveniles who are in desperate need of legal help. The juvenile office also handles TPR (termination of parental rights) cases, and mental health commitment cases. As a Public Interest Law Society Fellow, it was my responsibility to assist the staff attorneys in the successful representation of these clients.

Continue reading “24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow David Conley”

24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with Corinne Frutiger

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The 24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) was held on February 17 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  Corinne Frutiger, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

Milwaukee Justice Center.

What kind of work did you do there?

I got to continue a lot of the pro bono work that I was already very involved with, including meeting one on one with clients in the Family Forms Clinic and side by side with volunteer attorneys in the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic (MVLC).  In the Family Forms Clinic I worked one on one with clients to help them navigate the family law process, whether that be the starting of an action, or jumping back into an existing case.

I also worked with attorneys in the MVLC to provide brief legal advice to clients on a range of matters, including such matters as family law, small/large claims, probate, landlord-tenant, and guardianships.  I was given the opportunity to be fully integrated with the MJC staff and sit in on meetings to discuss what more we could do to better serve our clients and the Milwaukee community.  It was truly incredible to see and be a part of a group that works tirelessly to continue to improve their services for the benefit of the community.  Watching the MJC staff, volunteer attorneys, and even some of the other volunteer students work so hard and brainstorm together to serve the full extent of a client’s needs was truly memorable and an experience I am truly grateful for.

Continue reading “24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with Corinne Frutiger”

24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with Natalie Lewandowski

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The 24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 17 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  Natalie Lewandowski, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

I worked at the Milwaukee Justice Center (MJC) in the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

What kind of work did you do there?

Most days I worked in the Family Forms Clinic with other MJC volunteers and supervising attorneys, helping clients with minor forms they wanted to file in the courthouse, such as divorce forms or forms to modify placement and custody orders for their children.  The vast majority of these clients cannot afford an attorney, but earn slightly above the (extremely low) federal poverty level, so they don’t qualify for free legal aid, either.  The only practical option for these people may be to represent themselves in the matter.  That’s where the volunteers at the MJC come in, helping these clients with the forms and guiding them through the process of how and where to file them in the courthouse and what the next steps might be.

I also helped plan and execute the MJC’s annual 5K Run for Justice, which raises money for the MJC to continue helping people access the justice system (and was really fun!).  In addition, I did some work with the MJC’s Mobile Legal Clinic, which is an amazing project that brings the services of the MJC—including brief legal advice by attorneys—to places in the community where it’s hard for residents to make it to the MJC for free legal help.

Continue reading “24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with Natalie Lewandowski”

24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow Don Applegate

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The 24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 17 at the Law School. Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer. Don Applegate, a current law student, shares his experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

I worked at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston.

What kind of work did you do there?

I was placed in the Narcotics Unit for the summer, so I had the privilege of working with many Assistant DA’s whose main goal is to make the Boston community a safer place to live. My time there was equally divided between writing various motions and conducting investigative work. Some days would be spent drafting Direct Indictment Memos or Memos in Opposition to the Defendant’s Motion to Suppress Evidence, and other days would be spent watching security camera footage or listening to jail calls to assist an ADA with an ongoing investigation. Also, every week a Unit Chief from the DA’s Office would address all the office interns during the lunch hour. It was fascinating to hear the various tasks each unit is responsible for, how the different units work together, and how passionate every employee was for their unit.

How was the experience meaningful to you?

I had a front row seat to see how the criminal justice system works­–the key word being justice. I saw how the DA’s Office as a whole values justice above conviction rates and how the Office cares just as much about helping victims, witnesses, and the community as prosecuting an alleged criminal. My favorite example of how the Office gives victims a voice is the Now You See: A Celebration of Courageous Kids initiative. This project reveals the bravery of sexually and physically abused children by including a photograph of the child’s eyes along with a description of the eyes in the child’s own words. This is just one of the many examples how the Office uses unique and innovative ways to help victims other than prosecuting on their behalf. In the end, I saw a side of the lawyer profession I had not strongly considered for myself before last summer, but this experience has inspired me to further pursue this career path.

Continue reading “24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow Don Applegate”

24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction—An Interview with PILS Fellow Ben Lucareli

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The 24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 17 at the Law School. Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer. Ben Lucareli, a current law student, shares his experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

In the HIDTA (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) unit of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.

What kind of work did you do there?

I worked closely with multiple attorneys in the HIDTA unit, helping them to prosecute felony-level drug and gun crimes. During my time in the office, I wrote numerous briefs at the trial court level, conducted legal research for the attorneys, and wrote and filed criminal complaints. I also helped the attorneys sift through evidence, transcripts, and other documents to prepare for trial. Each week, I accompanied the attorneys to various hearings, as well as a few jury trials. During the hearings and trials, I would take notes for the attorneys and help them organize and present evidence to the jury. In addition to my work with the attorneys, I also went on a ride-along with a local police department, and got to work on projects with local police officers and DEA agents.

Continue reading “24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction—An Interview with PILS Fellow Ben Lucareli”

24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction—An Interview with PILS Fellow Elisabeth Thompson

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The 24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held on February 17 at the Law School. Proceeds from the event go to support PILS Fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer. Elisabeth Thompson, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS Fellow.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

The ACLU of Wisconsin.

What kind of work did you do there?

Most of my work was legal research and writing.  I prepared two big pre-litigation memos, both in areas of substantive law to which I’d not been previously exposed.  I also drafted a complaint and wrote a number of on-the-fly memos on an array of legal questions, and I got to participate in some meetings with clients.

How was the experience meaningful to you?

The cases I worked on were incredibly meaningful.  They were timely; they were high-impact; they were rooted in the local community but had national resonance.  My work helped lay the groundwork for litigation that will raise awareness and advance justice.  This was motivating to me.  It also speaks to the value of the PILS fellowship; the funds that enabled me to spend the summer at the ACLU contributed directly to advancing their important work.

Continue reading “24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction—An Interview with PILS Fellow Elisabeth Thompson”