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Marquette: Be The Difference

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Presentation on theme: "Marquette: Be The Difference"— Presentation transcript:

1 Marquette: Be The Difference

2 Pro Bono Legal Clinics at MULS
This training applies to the following three pro bono opportunities at the Law School Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic (MVLC) Marquette Legal Initiative for Nonprofit Corporations (M-LINC) Legal and Medical Partnership for Families (LAMP)

3 Clinic Model & Overview
Legal Information & Referral Services Provided by Volunteer Attorneys Assisted by Marquette Law Students Typically 2 hour shifts, approximately 1x per month Opportunities to substitute for others Clinics operating 5 days per week at 6 locations

4 MVLC Mission and History
To serve the Milwaukee community in Marquette Law School’s Jesuit tradition by increasing access to justice and assisting unrepresented persons, while providing learning and mentoring opportunities for law students. History Student-driven project operating since 2002 Largest MU Law School outreach Operating at the House of Peace since 2003; Spanish Center Hillview site since 2008; VA and Milwaukee Justice Center since 2009 Provided services to Hurricane evacuees relocated to Milwaukee in 2005 Provided services at Project Homeless Connect in 2010

5 M-LINC Mission and History
To help provide Wisconsin 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with access to free legal advice, while providing learning and mentoring opportunities for law students. History Project operating since 2008 Weekly clinics at MULS Overseen by MULS staff (Attorney Karin Werner) Over 800 questions answered for nonprofits in three years Generally transactional legal issues (i.e., corporate, tax, employment, intellectual property, and employment law questions)

6 LAMP Mission and History
Provide collaboration between clinicians and lawyers to ensure that the basic needs of families are met. Improve the future health and well-being for low-income children in the City of Milwaukee. History In 2009, MULS partnered with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Quarles & Bradyn LLP. A systematic advocacy model was designed to allow physicians to work beside lawyers to “treat” the social determinants that exacerbate health problems for children and families.

7 MVLC Hours & Locations *House of Peace 1702 W. Walnut St.
Tuesdays 3-7 p.m. *Hillview 1615 S. 22nd St. Wednesdays 5–7 p.m. *Free Shuttle Service available to House of Peace and Hillview locations. Pickups at the Law School occur 15 minutes before and after the start of each shift; will accommodate students with classes ending at same time as shift starts Milwaukee County VA Services 6419 W. Greenfield Ave 1st & 3rd Mondays 4-6 p.m. Milwaukee Justice Center 901 N. 9th St. Jury Management Room Fridays 2-4 p.m.

8 M-LINC and LAMP Locations
Wednesdays from 12:00 to 1:45 p.m. and 1:45 to 3:30 p.m. MULS Eisenberg Suite, Office 138D LAMP Wednesdays from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., two students work together Downtown Health Clinic at 1020 N. 12th Street (12th and State), just 4 blocks from the law school.

9 Expectations What you can expect from us: What we expect from you:
Attorney supervision and guidance at all sites A schedule that matches your availability Transportation to MVLC’s House of Peace and Hillview sites On-site legal research resources What we expect from you: Keep track of your shifts and arrive on time If you know you will not be able to work – find a substitute Familiarize yourself with the resources available Dress appropriately (business casual)

10 Why Pro Bono? The childhood poverty rate in Milwaukee is the fourth highest in the nation. Although income is not considered for eligibility for MULS pro bono services, most clients are of very modest means. Two-thirds of MVLC clients report income of less than $1500 and all LAMP clients qualify for public benefits. Up to 80% of poor Wisconsin households that confront a legal need do so without legal assistance.

11 Professional Ethics Obligations
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules of Professional Responsibility apply. Key rules: Competency & the Unauthorized Practice of Law Confidentiality Conflicts of Interest Unauthorized Practice of Law Confidentiality, Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 20:1.6 Conflicts of Interest, SCR 20: Checking for Conflicts at MVLC and LAMP, SCR 20:6.5 Where Conflict and Confidentiality Overlap Student Acknowledgement

12 Competency Our work requires "legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation." SCR 20:1.1 Law students must never provide legal advice This would constitute the unauthorized practice of law Law students’ role is to support the attorney’s ability to provide competent legal advice with: Research of relevant substantive legal questions Resources that are available at the Clinic, and Referrals to other agencies (

13 Confidentiality All information relating to your interview with a client is confidential. Do not disclose clients’ names or personal information to anyone outside of the Clinic. Do not discuss clients' stories or situations outside the Clinic. Do not remove interview notes from the Clinic. Avoid being overheard either during the client interview or in the clinic office.

14 Conflicts of Interest If a client's problem involves an entity that you have worked with outside of the Clinic, advise the attorney and excuse yourself from that interview. SCR 20:6.5 Nonprofit and court-annexed limited legal services programs special rules A lawyer volunteering for a short-term limited legal services program sponsored by an accredited law school without expectation of ongoing representation Is NOT subject to the usual rules of conflict of interest UNLESS they have ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE of a conflict. Students only check for FREQUENCY of client visits, NOT conflict of interests. Example:

15 Professionalism We should treat all clients with professionalism and advocate on their behalf. To do so: Be attentive to clients Avoid legalese Respect clients’ viewpoints, even those with which you don’t sympathize Be respectful of clients’ personal situations and cultures e.g. of legalese: issue spotting, If you have to leave during a client interview, excuse yourself and explain the reason for your departure. If you know you will need to leave the interview early, alert the client at the outset. You will find some clients more sympathetic than others, and you will identify with some clients more than with others. Nevertheless, treat all of our clients professionally and with respect.

16 Professionalism (continued)
Listen carefully to clients' stories to understand their goals Empathize with clients to develop trust and rapport Ask any questions necessary to clarify or better understand the facts underlying clients’ problems or disputes.

17 Appropriate Dress- What is “Business Casual?”
This Not that

18 Role of law students Prepare for interview
Provide Explanation of Clinic Services Assist attorney in the interview process Provide research & resources Maintain pertinent records for site Conduct administrative duties – check with coordinator

19 Resources- Research Materials
All students must register prior to participation State Bar of Wisconsin Books Attorneys Desk Reference Judicial Benchbooks Employment & Workers Compensation Family & Guardian Ad Litem Handbook Wisconsin Nonprofit Handbook Statute of Limitations Guidebook Wisconsin Statutes Wisconsin Civil Procedures Forms Wisconsin & Federal Court Rules Available online to registered users at (click on “Legal Research.” and then “Books Unbound”) All law students can access for free by registering as Law Student Associates with the State Bar. Legal Action of Wisconsin Legal Guides Family Law Foster Care Elder Law Social Security & SSI Unemployment Housing & Landlord Tenant

20 Resources – Top Ten Lists
Top 10 Resources and Referrals Powerpoint

21 Computer desktop

22 Begin MVLC specific information
The following slides apply only to the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic program. LAMP and M-LINC volunteers will now attend break-out sessions to provide information for their sites.

23 Getting Started at the MVLC
Sign-in and Record date & hours for Pro Bono Wear a name tag (first name only) Pair up with an attorney with whom you will be working (up to 2 students per group) and make introductions Gather a new complete “file” for each interview Go to waiting area for next client. Gather their intake sheet, introduce yourself, escort the client to an interview room/table, and introduce attorney. Do not discuss legal issues unless attorney is present

24 Interview Process Review Intake Sheet
Explain “Explanation of Clinic Services” document and have client sign the intake sheet Determine if there is an opposing party and conduct conflicts check (at House of Peace & Hillview) Check for frequency – if there are any frequency problems or client is told not to return NOTE this in the space provided. Have attorney review for screening questions Take notes Follow-up with questions to clarify facts or story Assist attorney with research & referral information Prepare Recommendations Sheet for client (write legibly) Provide Satisfaction Survey to client – include date/volunteer names at top Complete intake sheet information – ask Clinic Facilitator to check for completeness before submitting for data entry.

25 Explanation of Services – Important Points to Explain to Client
The Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic is an information and referral service staffed by students like myself and volunteer attorneys We will try to answer your question, provide a referral or suggest a strategy for dealing with your situation We are unable to take ongoing cases or represent you in court Our help is limited to our meeting with you today All matters we discuss will be kept confidential

26 Conclusion THANK YOU for your willingness to Serve!!! Do not worry about “knowing enough” on your first day: the MVLC allowed me to feel successful for the first time in law school. The classroom was not a place where I was feeling confident, but I did find that at the clinic! (Thanks!!!) -MVLC Student Volunteer

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