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Columbia Law School Midwest Caravan

May 29, 2012

On March 11th, 10 Columbia Law School (CLS) students arrived in Wisconsin for a week-long trip providing pro bono services to several of Wisconsin's Indian nations. Organized through Wisconsin Judicare, Inc., and sponsored in significant part by Godfrey & Kahn's Indian Nations team, the CLS Midwest Law Society student caravan visited the Oneida, Forest County Potawatomi, Stockbridge-Munsee, Black River Falls and Wisconsin Dells Ho-Chunk reservations, where they drafted 157 wills, performed 405 other legal services (powers-of-attorney, living wills, etc.), and served a total of 166 clients over the course of five days. According to Wisconsin Judicare Staff Attorney David Armstrong, many of those clients positively recognized Godfrey & Kahn's involvement both in supporting the caravan and the other legal work the firm does for the Indian nations.

At the end of this busy week, the students and Wisconsin Judicare's Armstrong joined the Madison office's Jennifer Hannon, Kendall Harrison, Rochelle Klaskin, Dustin Brown and Linda Schmidt (CLS '03) for a relaxing dinner at Fresco, located on the rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Writing after the trip, student caravan organizer Michelle Meleski stated, "[w]e had a wonderful time in Wisconsin, and I think we really did some good work in the Indian communities. Godfrey & Kahn's contribution was instrumental in making this week a success, and none of it would have been possible without your help. I just wanted to write to thank... everyone at Godfrey & Kahn for their contribution."

Meanwhile Armstrong observed that the need for the services provided by the CLS student caravan is significant. Indeed, he is already looking for ways to expand next year's caravan to a three-week affair, involving not only the CLS Midwest Law Society, but also students from Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin Law Schools. Judicare and the CLS Midwest Law Society hope that Godfrey & Kahn will continue to be a part of that process.

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