The Milwaukee Justice Center
Last night, my band played an event for the Milwaukee Justice Center at Veteran’s Park, on Milwaukee’s Lake front. This was their 7th annual fun run/walk, to help raise money for the not for profit organization. Our band has played the event several times and it quite frankly, an honor and a privilege to be able to play this event, and donate our time and musical talent to help raise money for this very worthy cause. In addition, I have volunteered monthly for the last several years, to help in their family law clinic to provide limited free legal advice for those who are in need of legal services. We certainly lucked out with fair weather. A good time was had by all. I also want to thank my good friend and fellow attorney, Elizabeth Feyrer Bagley, who served as our guest artist. She rocked it, with her silky vocals.
What is the Milwaukee Justice Center and why should you care? The Milwaukee Justice Center is situated mainly at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. They do have a mobile van as well as other locations in the city, but the main operation is at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. The clinic is open daily but it is best to check their web site on what their hours are and what area of law may be covered on any particular day; a number of volunteers, including law students, and practicing lawyers, volunteer their time to help individuals with legal problems, who may otherwise not be able to afford an attorney. The clinic can help on such issues as landlord tenant problems, and certainly family law issues, ranging from paternity, to child support, to divorce questions to custody disputes.
There are two sections of the clinic, one devoted to providing limited legal advice, the other section devoted to helping individuals fill out legal papers. There may be as many as 50% pro se filings of family law cases in Milwaukee County, and I have heard estimates as much as 70%. When we as lawyers help out at the Milwaukee Justice Center, not only does it feel good to help persons who otherwise might not be able to afford to talk an attorney, but we are also helping the numerous court commissioners and judges who have to deal with pro se litigants day in and day out. By our helping with the legal clinic, perhaps we are making the jobs of the commissioners and judges just a tad easier.
The Milwaukee Justice Center is a joint collaboration of Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee Bar Association and Marquette University Law School. It exists as a result of a number of individuals and law firms who donated money who saw the need for a legal clinic in the community that would be able to help indigent individuals who otherwise could not afford an attorney for their specific legal problems.
It is a privilege and an honor to be an attorney. What better way of showing our appreciation to be an attorney than to give back to the community by helping provide limited legal advice to those in need? I have done it for a number of years and will continue to do it until I retire. We have also contributed money to help support the Milwaukee Justice Center as well as our band playing their annual event, free of charge. If you would like to learn more on what the justice center can do for you, visit their web site at www.milwaukee.gov. You can also call 414 288 6912 for more information.