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

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, PublicLeave a comment» on 24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow Don Applegate

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

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, PublicLeave a comment» on 24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction—An Interview with PILS Fellow Ben Lucareli

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

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, PublicLeave a comment» on 24th Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction—An Interview with PILS Fellow Elisabeth Thompson

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”

Schultz Receives Recognition from the Wisconsin Law Journal

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, Public1 Comment on Schultz Receives Recognition from the Wisconsin Law Journal

Kindness, patience, and compassion—those were the key words in the description of Angela Schultz when the Wisconsin Law Journal recognized her as one of this year’s outstanding “Women in the Law” at an event attended by more than 300 people last week at the Pfister Hotel.

Schultz is Marquette Law School’s assistant dean for public service. She worked as an advocate for victims of domestic violence in Oregon and as a lawyer in Milwaukee focusing on elder and disability law before joining the Law School in 2011. She has helped hundreds of law students become involved in pro bono work and has become a leader in Milwaukee in helping thousands of people receive legal help that would otherwise have been out of their reach.

Angela SchultzIn an article in the Wisconsin Law Journal, Mary Ferwerda, director of the Milwaukee Justice Center, praised Schultz. “She’s very knowledgeable about access to justice issues and how what we do makes a difference,” Ferwerda said. “She has a lot of forward thinking in how to structure a program so that it is effective for clients and for student learning.”

“At the end of the day, we are a helping profession,” Schultz said. “We have a lot of compassionate, big-hearted people who come out of Marquette Law School who do all kinds of good things across the community.” Schultz has been a big success in helping make that happen.

A video recognizing Schultz may be viewed by clicking here.

 

23rd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow Windsor Wrolsted

Posted on Categories Legal Profession, Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, Public1 Comment on 23rd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow Windsor Wrolsted

Windsor WrolstedThe 23rd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held in the evening on Friday, February 19, 2016 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.  Windsor Wrolsted, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS Fellow.  Besides her work as a PILS Fellow, Windsor is helping to organize this year’s Auction.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

Disability Rights Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

What kind of work did you do there?

I worked closely with attorneys, advocates, and ombudsmen to advocate for persons with both mental and physical disabilities. I advocated for inmate rights within various jail systems, and also the rights of children in need of long-term care. I attended an Administrative Law Judge hearing and got the chance to meet the family of the child we were advocating on behalf of. It was truly memorable to talk with them and hear how their child’s disability was a daily factor in their lives, when realizing that it only took up a few hours of mine. I also attended local Wisconsin Community Services meetings regarding how to combat current mental health issues in Milwaukee. One meeting addressed issues relating to the homeless community, and the other addressed wrongful conviction of individuals with mental disabilities. It was incredible to see leaders from so many different organizations come together and brainstorm practical, long standing solutions. Continue reading “23rd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow Windsor Wrolsted”

23rd Annual Howard Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow Angela Shin

Posted on Categories Legal Profession, Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, PublicLeave a comment» on 23rd Annual Howard Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow Angela Shin

Angela ShinThe 23rd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held in the evening on Friday, February 19, 2016 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.  Angela Shin, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS Fellow.  Besides her work as a PILS Fellow, Angela is helping to organize this year’s Auction.

You may attend the Auction by purchasing tickets in advance or at the door.  This link also provides you with an option to donate to the Auction.

Where did you work as a PILS Fellow?

I worked for the Milwaukee Justice Center in Milwaukee County Courthouse.

What kind of work did you do there?

At the Milwaukee Justice Center (MJC), I worked with a team of incredibly friendly and supportive staff that offers free daily sessions where volunteers provide procedural information and assistance with forms to pro se litigants. The forms are geared towards family law matters. Volunteers work one-on-one with members of the community with completing legal forms and explaining courthouse rules and procedures. The MJC tries their best to accommodate and educate clients, without giving any sort of legal advice, so that they have a better understanding of what they need to do next. In addition to helping pro se litigants, I worked at the front desk to direct clients to other parts of the courthouse or sign them in for MJC’s services. Occasionally, the other fellows and I had partnered up with attorneys at the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic to provide free walk-in brief legal advice. Lastly, I worked on a project to make it easier for pro se clients to e-file their divorce.

Continue reading “23rd Annual Howard Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with PILS Fellow Angela Shin”

Kasey Parks, 3L, Receives Milwaukee Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, PublicLeave a comment» on Kasey Parks, 3L, Receives Milwaukee Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award
Kasey Parks has received the Milwaukee Bar Association’s (MBA) Pro Bono Publico Award in the category of law student. Kasey accepted her award at the MBA’s annual State of the Court Luncheon on Thursday, October 15th.
 
The award is given to an individual attorney, an organization, and a law student based on the following criteria: developing innovative ways to deliver volunteer legal services or improve access to justice; participating in activities that improve legal services to the poor or increase access to justice; and working on legislation that increases access to justice.
 
Kasey has completed over 150-hours to date. Most of her time has been given to the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics (MVLC). Kasey gives her time each and every week, doing what all practitioners should by making pro bono a habit in her busy schedule (Kasey is also completing her Master’s in Business Administration, is the Article and Research Editor for the Marquette Sports Law Review, and has been a volunteer and research assistant for the National Sports Law Institute for the past 3 years.).
As a member of the MVLC’s student advisory board, Kasey is a leader among her peers. She reaches out to incoming students and explains how the life of a busy law student has room for incorporate pro bono. She is an important part of our legal community’s desire to give back.  As a law student and future attorney, her service ethic and actions are key to the culture of pro bono among the legal community. Thank you Kasey. You are worthy of this recognition.  (In the photo above, Kasey is pictured with Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler and Milwaukee County Chief Judge Maxine White).  

Access to Justice in a Civil Context

Posted on Categories Federal Civil Litigation, Human Rights, Judges & Judicial Process, Legal Profession, Pro Bono, Public, Wisconsin Civil LitigationLeave a comment» on Access to Justice in a Civil Context

ATJ-reportIndigent defendants in criminal cases, and select civil matters (i.e., child in need of protective services petitions, termination of parental rights petitions, Chapter 51 petitions, and Chapter 980 petitions), are entitled to the appointment of counsel when they cannot afford representation. Either the state public defender’s office represents the individual, or an attorney is appointed by the county. It is imperative that individuals facing some form of deprivation of their individual liberty and freedom, as in the aforementioned scenarios, be represented.

But, what happens in other types of civil matters, where there is no right to counsel? What happens when a person or family faces a legal issue that will affect their rights, health, safety, economic security, and overall well-being? All people, regardless of socioeconomic status, should have access to the justice system. While some individuals may be able to handle a matter pro se, meaningful legal assistance or full representation is often needed to assist individuals in asserting and defending their rights.

The Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission (WATJC) is one entity working toward “improving the administration of justice by supporting civil legal services to those who cannot afford them”. In 2011, Wisconsin became one of only four states nationally, and the only state in the Midwest, that failed to provide any state funding for civil legal services. The 2015-2017 budget appropriates $500,000 per year of the biennium for civil legal aid service to abuse victims. This sum is well below the other neighboring states. Minnesota, for example, appropriated over 12 million dollars per year of its biennium for civil legal services. According to WATJC, the average budget for indigent civil legal services in other Midwestern states is $7.6 million. While Wisconsin falls well below that average, it is at least an improvement that the current state budget appropriates some funding, albeit for a very specific class of litigants.

There are a variety of agencies that offer legal assistance and full-representation to indigent clients in civil matters. From my experience working at Centro Legal, I am aware that many more people were in need of assistance than that organization had the capacity to handle. While I cannot speak for other agencies, my best guess is that they also have more work than they can take on, and that as a result many people are turned away because there just isn’t the capacity to represent them. There are notable efforts to coordinate volunteer attorneys and to help people be matched with an attorney that would be willing to take on a case for a reduced rate. With low levels of funding from the state to support agencies already offering civil representation, the difference must be made up somehow. Whether it is volunteering to represent someone, participating as a volunteer at one of the several clinics offering brief legal advice, offering a reduced rate in certain circumstances, or offering support to practitioners that incorporate as a non-profit and offer reduced rates for indigent or modest means clients, all lawyers have a role to play in ensuring that access to justice and the legal system is not limited by one’s socioeconomic status. We all have a stake in improving access to civil legal service for people who cannot afford an attorney.

22nd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with Katherine Seelow

Posted on Categories Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, PublicLeave a comment» on 22nd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with Katherine Seelow

Katherine SeelowThe 22nd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held in the evening on Friday, February 13, 2015 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.  Katherine Seelow, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS fellow.  Besides her work as a PILS fellow, Katherine is helping to organize this year’s auction.

Where did you work as a PILS fellow?

I was lucky enough to be a fellow twice-over.  First, I worked for the Milwaukee Justice Center. Next, I worked at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, in the Felony Trial Division.

What kind of work did you do there?

At the Milwaukee Justice Center I worked the Family Law Help Desk, helping the pro-se litigants with a wide variety of family law issues fill out the appropriate paperwork. Additionally I was able to conduct research on family law issues and participate in tracking the progress of MJC clients. At the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office,  I was assigned to a trial team and helped them organize discovery on felony, criminal cases. I was also able to appear on the record under the 711 Student Practice Rule.

How was the experience meaningful to you?

My experience at the MJC was meaningful to me because it gave me great experience working with clients, one-on-one, which is not something you often get to do as a rising 2L. My experience as a Law Clerk with the Cook County State’s Attorney was meaningful because I got to prepare and handle cases on the record.

Continue reading “22nd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with Katherine Seelow”

Attorney Priya Barnes Highlighted for Pro Bono Work

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, Public1 Comment on Attorney Priya Barnes Highlighted for Pro Bono Work

This month the State Bar of Wisconsin highlighted Attorney Priya Barnes, a 2013 Marquette Law School graduate, for her pro bono work. The State Bar’s Inside Track interviewed Barnes.  Barnes noted that while in law school, she volunteered with the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic (MVLC) and the Milwaukee Justice Center (MJC).  She now represents pro bono clients referred through the Volunteer Lawyers Project at Legal Action of Wisconsin, handling primarily Chapter 7 bankruptcy and domestic violence matters.  Barnes said that her pro bono work reinforces the work she does in her general practice and gives her “valuable practice experience” as a newer attorney.

As mentioned in the article, the State Bar Pro Bono Initiative “works to improve public access to the legal system by promoting solutions that eliminate barriers to effective access to the civil justice system.”

Of Trump Cards and Lawyering

Posted on Categories Criminal Law & Process, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Pro Bono, Public, Seventh CircuitLeave a comment» on Of Trump Cards and Lawyering

King of SpadesSome of the best and the worst of the legal profession can be seen through Socha v. Boughton, No. 12-1598, decided by the Seventh Circuit this past week. The substance of the case involved the court’s applying — for the first time — the doctrine of equitable tolling to excuse a late filing by a state prisoner in a habeas case. This required a conclusion that the district court had abused its discretion in concluding otherwise, including the catchy characterization that “[t]he mistake made by the district court and the state was to conceive of the equitable tolling inquiry as the search for a single trump card, rather than an evaluation of the entire hand that the petitioner was dealt” (slip op. at 19).

Yet it is the lawyering that I want especially to note. Continue reading “Of Trump Cards and Lawyering”

Congratulations to Marquette Pro Bono Award Recipients Mindy Nolan and Bryant Park

Posted on Categories Legal Profession, Marquette Law School, Pro Bono, PublicLeave a comment» on Congratulations to Marquette Pro Bono Award Recipients Mindy Nolan and Bryant Park

Congratulations to graduating law students Mindy Nolan and Bryant Park, who were honored this academic year for their pro bono work.  The Wisconsin State Bar awarded Mindy Nolan as Public Interest Law Student of the Year, and the Milwaukee Bar Association awarded Bryant Park as Pro Bono Law Student of the Year.

Mindy NolanPro bono work has been a focus of Mindy Nolan’s time in law school.  Mindy was the recipient of two Public Interest Law Society (PILS) summer fellowships, which enabled her to work for the Public Defender in Rhinelander in 2012 and the Public Defender in Milwaukee in 2013. Her pro bono work centered on the Milwaukee Justice Center’s family help desk.  Angela Schultz, the Pro Bono Director at the Law School, said in her nominating letter to the State Bar:

As a regular supervising attorney of the help desk, I have observed Ms. Nolan’s professionalism, patience, and kindness, along with her high level of competence learning this complex system.  She treats each person accessing the help desk with the same level of respect, infusing into her volunteer work a sense that all members of our community deserve equal access to justice.  When given the opportunity to complete an advanced training in family law forms, she jumped at the chance and as a result has been able to assist with a broader range of issues being presented by community members accessing the help desk.

 

Continue reading “Congratulations to Marquette Pro Bono Award Recipients Mindy Nolan and Bryant Park”