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At the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, volunteer attorneys and Marquette law students serve the Milwaukee community by providing pro bono legal information.

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Presentation on theme: "At the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, volunteer attorneys and Marquette law students serve the Milwaukee community by providing pro bono legal information."— Presentation transcript:


2 At the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, volunteer attorneys and Marquette law students serve the Milwaukee community by providing pro bono legal information and referral services to individuals in need of legal assistance, while providing law students with the opportunity to enhance their classroom learning, observe practicing attorneys, and be mentored.

3 History Founded by Marquette law students & alumni in 2002 Largest MULS outreach project Services at 4 locations House of Peace since 2003 Hillview campus of Center for Spanish Speaking since 2008 VA Campus since 2009 Milwaukee Justice Center at Milwaukee Courthouse since 2009 Provided services to Hurricane evacuees relocated to Milwaukee in 2005 Provided services at Project Homeless Connect in 2010 Received Awards from AWL, MBA & EDWisBA

4 Hillview 1615 S. 22 nd St. Wednesdays 5–7 p.m. House of Peace 1702 W. Walnut St. Tuesdays 3-7 p.m. Milwaukee County VA Services 6419 W. Greenfield Ave 1 st & 3 rd Mondays 4-6 p.m. Milwaukee Justice Center 901 N. 9 th St. Jury Management Room Thursdays & Fridays 2-4 p.m.

5 Lori Zahorodny, Program Assistant Email: Phone: 414.288.7970 Julie Darnieder, Director of MVLC Email: Phone: 414.964.4928 Angela Schultz, Pro Bono Coordinator, Marquette Law School Email: 414.288.6823

6 Results Over 10,000persons served 99% Participant Satisfaction (per client surveys in 2010-2011)

7 Attorney-Client Relationship is created Rules allow attorneys to provide limited legal services in this type of clinic setting SCR 20:6.5 Nonprofit and court-annexed limited legal services programs (a) A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by a nonprofit organization, a bar association, an accredited law school, or a court, provides short-term limited legal services to a client without expectation by either the lawyer or the client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter:

8 (1) is subject to SCR 20:1.7 and SCR 20:1.9(a) only if the lawyer knows that the representation of the client involves a conflict of interest; and (2) is subject to SCR 20:1.10 only if the lawyer knows that another lawyer associated with the lawyer in a law firm is disqualified by SCR 20:1.7 or SCR 20:1.9(a) with respect to the matter. (b) Except as provided in par. (a)(2), SCR 20:1.10 is inapplicable to a representation governed by this rule.

9 Marquette University provides professional liability insurance for Clinic attorneys. Monthly free CLE Brown Bag presentations cover areas most frequently seen at the Clinic, such as family law issues, landlord-tenant, employment issues. You may attend in person at the law school or view it live on the web. Volunteer Support

10 Treat all persons with professionalism, respect and dignity. Attorney-Client relationship is created. Key assumptions Competency Courtesy Confidentiality


12 Take time to familiarize yourself with the fliers and pamphlets, information resources and legal materials located at the clinic. a. Website available for referral information. Organized by topic and Lists free and low-cost legal services in Milwaukee. b. Because the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic is a legal referral service these resources and contacts can help clients find legal representation if needed. b. Pamphlets can provide clients with basic background information about their legal topic or issue. *See Addendum A

13 *See Addendum B State Bar of Wisconsin Resource Books Attorneys Desk Reference Judicial Benchbooks (full set) Employment & Workers Compensation Family & Guardian Ad Litem Handbook Advising Older Clients Statute of Limitations Guidebook Wisconsin Statutes Wisconsin Civil Procedures Forms Wisconsin & Federal Court Rules

14 *See Addendum B Legal Action of Wisconsin Legal Guides Family Law Foster Care Elder Law Social Security & SSI Unemployment Housing & Landlord Tenant

15 LOISLAW Books Unbound (State Bar practice series) Westlaw – students may access CCAP – Wisconsin Circuit Court Access ( Wisconsin State Law Library (Legal & Agency Forms) Wisconsin Courts ( (Court Forms) Marquette/UW Law Library ( (State Bar of WI site) (Legal Action – legal guides)

16 See MVLC Resource file on desktop Contains common forms (wills, lists of credit counseling agencies, health care poas etc.). You may want to check these before drafting your own form or letter. Family Law & Small Claims forms & guides are available at Milwaukee Justice website.



19 Selecting Law Students: Law Students are not assigned any particular order in which to volunteer and it is their responsibility to take turns participating in client interviews. i. Attorneys are not obligated to select different students for each client interview and can continue working with the same student/s throughout the night ii. If student volunteers feel they are not getting ample time with clients it is their responsibility to substitute with a student who has already had a chance to participate. iii. The students know this and are instructed as such during their training.

20 One of the law students should proceed to the waiting area, identify the next client to be served, introduce themselves and accompany them from the waiting area to the Clinic area. Please note that a check will have been made to ensure that the client has not been seen before on the same issue, or is authorized, per clinic policy, to be seen again. The law student that accompanied the client should proceed to make additional introductions. If for some reason he or she does not, please take a moment to introduce yourself to the client.

21 Introductions should be on a first-name basis only, and identify the individual as an attorney or a student. After introductions, the interview can begin. The law student does the majority of the work during the opening stage of the interview: i. The law student will review the Intake Form and make sure that all information has been provided ii. The student will review the Explanation of Clinic Services with the client, explaining the role of the Clinic and what the Clinic can and cannot help the client accomplish.

22 Conflicts of Interest While it is not Clinic policy to check all clients for conflicts, there may still exist conflicts known to the attorney, or personal to the attorney or student. If a conflict exists, consult with the clinic supervisor to reassign client to another attorney and/or student, if possible.






28 Interview Structure You have full discretion to guide the interview as you see fit. Most interviews open like any legal interview, with the client giving his version of the legal problem or issue. Attorneys usually listen, ask questions to develop a complete understanding of the legal issue, and do their best to provide the client with the basic steps he needs to take to begin addressing his problem. Students are encouraged to participate, asking questions of their own to help develop the facts. You may wish to help the student develop interviewing skills by allowing them to guide the interview and supplementing questions as necessary.

29 Expectations Some of the Clinics clients may not have a legal problem, but may need help filling out paperwork or locating a specific resource. There is never any requirement or guarantee that we will be able to solve a clients problem. The Clinic is staffed with volunteer attorneys with a variety of legal backgrounds. Thus, it is likely you will eventually be faced with a legal issue with which you are unfamiliar. Do your best to give the client helpful advice and referrals. Use the Clinics legal resources and referral information to direct the client to an agency that can better assist him or her. When appropriate consult with Clinic supervisor who can identify attorneys with expertise in the particular area and have agreed to consult when needed.

30 The Role of the Law Student & Attorney a. Interviewing b. Legal Research Law students are available to conduct research for you either online or through the Clinics resources to locate specific contact references, court rules, legal holdings, etc. that you feel would be helpful in addressing the clients problem. c. Legal Knowledge Attorneys are also welcome but not required to draw on the students legal knowledge that he or she may have gained from their classroom or internship experiences. d. Notes & Recommendations During the interview students should take notes on the clients story and any referral advice that is given by the attorney. i. Attorneys may also want to take their own notes so that no information or advice is overlooked ii. Once the interview ends, the law student should complete the recommendations form for the client to take with them, outlining the recommended steps.

31 At the end of the interview the law student will: 1)Provide the client a copy of the legal recommendations and referral information recorded during the interview; review it with them to be certain that it is understood. 2) Hand the client a self-addressed, postage paid envelope and survey form for the client to take with her, fill out at her leisure and mail back to us. It is the students job to accompany the client out of the Clinic and to the exit once the interview is finished. At this point, the attorneys job with respect to that client is complete and the law students are responsible for completing and filing the necessary paperwork and for entering the demographic data collected on the intake form. Any notes or documents not retained for possible future visits should be shredded. A shredder is available in the main office.

32 After the interview it is your choice as to whether you want to take a short break or begin the next interview. We encourage you to briefly discuss the preceding interview with the law student(s) before proceeding to the next interview. You are not required to do this, but it can be rewarding for both the law student and the attorney. It is a valuable learning tool for the law student and is the most frequent request on our end of year student surveys.

33 The House of Peace and the Spanish Center are located in Milwaukees central city with a high rate of crime. Following basic safety measures is in the best interests of all Legal Clinic volunteers. No student or attorney should ever have to lock up or leave the Legal Clinic by themselves. Please make sure that no one is left behind. All volunteers should take responsibility to make sure everyone gets to their car safely. A shuttle service is provided for students for both locations. Students are encouraged to ride the shuttle and never walk or drive their own vehicle. Those waiting for a ride should not wait alone. A security guard is present at both locations and will accompany any volunteer to their vehicle upon request.


35 The Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic ("Clinic") is a legal information and referral center staffed by volunteer Marquette University law students working with and supervised by volunteer members of the Wisconsin Bar. Our purpose is to provide you with basic legal information and appropriate referrals if more extensive services are needed. The Clinic cannot accept your case or represent you in any legal action in which you may be involved. Our assistance is limited to our meeting with you today and does not create an ongoing attorney-client relationship. It is usually a good idea to have an attorney represent you, and it may be difficult to proceed without one. We will provide as much assistance as we can today, but you may be more successful if you have an attorney. If we are aware of any reasonable available alternatives to our service, we will refer you to them. We recommend that you contact any legal resources to which we refer you. Information that you share with us will be treated as confidential by the Clinic and will not be disclosed unless the Clinic is required to do so under applicable state law. While some persons may visit the Clinic on more than one occasion, each visit must stand on its own and does not establish an on-going attorney-client relationship. In addition, we reserve the right to refuse to see some returning individuals if it appears that their expectation for services is beyond the scope of our servicesbasic legal information and referrals.

36 Name: _______________________________ Date: __________ It is recommended that the following steps be taken: For questions, please return to clinic. Open Tuesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at House of Peace located at 1702 W. Walnut St. Phone no. 933.1300. Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic A Community Legal Information & Referral Service

37 Date of visit_____________________________ Attorney _____________________________ Students_____________________________ MARQUETTE VOLUNTEER LEGAL CLINIC: A Community Legal Information & Referral Service Thank you for visiting our clinic. We sincerely hope that we have helped you in either resolving your legal question or referring you to another source for assistance. In order to understand whether we have been effective and to know what changes we might consider making, we would ask your help by completing the following questions and returning this letter to us in the envelope provided. Please note that the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic reserves the right to reprint your comments (without your name if you supply it) to promote awareness of the Clinic. When did you visit the clinic ____________________________________________________________ How much time did you spend with an attorney and law student __________________________________ Did you receive an answer to your legal question yes __________________ no ________________ If not, did you receive helpful information yes __________________ no ________________ Were you referred to another source yes __________________ no ________________ Please offer any comments you would like to make regarding the clinic and your experience with us: Thank you for taking the time to complete this form. ___________________________________________________________ Name (optional)


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