The State Bar has plans to build such a tool since last year. While Wisconsin Supreme Court rules encourage all Wisconsin lawyers to do 50 hours of free legal work each year, many people don’t know where to look for such volunteer opportunities.
“Civil legal aid programs in the state are telling us that free aid is vital to making our shared goal of equal justice for all a reality,” said State Bar President Kathleen Brost.
With the pandemic looming, the professional union wanted to connect those eager to help with those eager to help. Students completing a certain amount of law school can practice if they are supervised by an attorney, and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette University law schools contact Brown looking for opportunities for their students. has done.
“It was becoming increasingly difficult for people to reach out to volunteer because you couldn’t do in-person outreach and networking,” Brown said. “It was an opportunity to reach people where they are these days: on their computers and phones and tablets.”
It looked like it would take six months to a year to develop such a tool, but when Brown discovered the legal technology company Paladin, which would license the technology for a fee to the State Bar, the portal It only took six weeks to get ready. .