We believe that the legal community has a responsibility to ensure all citizens have access to legal representation and that the justice system operates fairly.
We encourage our attorneys to contribute a minimum of 50 pro bono hours to meaningful causes each year. The following are the types of legal services our attorneys commonly support:
- Representation or advocacy on behalf of low-income individuals
- Civil rights and public rights law
- Representation of charitable organizations
- Community economic development
- Administration of justice in the court system
- Law-related education
Representative pro bono experience
Eastern District Bar Association
The Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association promotes improvements in the administration of justice within the district by:
- Reducing costs and delays in litigation
- Compiling and maintaining a list of counsel willing to undertake pro bono work
- Educating attorneys and the public on practices and procedures of the court
Many of our attorneys are active members of the association, providing leadership and guidance to continuously improve its services.
Ice Age Trail Alliance
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that supports and protects the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The Ice Age Trail traces back to the 1950s, when Raymond Zillmer, a Milwaukee attorney and avid hiker, worked to preserve the hiking trails of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. His dream was to create a much larger linear park that would trace the route of the most recent continental glaciation and preserve Wisconsin's unique glacial features. In 1980, under the sponsorship of Congressman Henry Reuss, Congress recognized the historic significance of the Ice Age Trail by designating it a National Scenic Trail, in the same category as the Appalachian Trail.
Our attorneys offer counsel to the Ice Age Trail Alliance and Ellen Drought, a shareholder in our Investment Management Practice Group, has worked with the organization as Chair of the Development Committee and offered counsel on corporate governance matters. We are pleased to support the Ice Age Trail Alliance and the work they do that carries on Ray Zillmer's vision.
Our firm supports tribal governments in protecting tribal sovereignty, enhancing tribal self-government and promoting the welfare of tribal members. Many tribes encourage tribal member entrepreneurs, but the growth of private business activity in Indian country has been slow due to many entrepreneurs' lack of resources, experience and credit. In an effort to fill this gap, we established a program to provide free legal services to members of tribes wishing to start their own businesses in Wisconsin. Among the Indian-owned enterprises we have recently assisted are a pet grooming business, taxidermy shop and stove distributorship. Brian Pierson, our Indian Nations Law Team leader, drives these efforts.
Legal Aid Society
Founded in 1916, the Legal Aid Society is one of the nation's oldest public interest law firms and serves Milwaukee's most vulnerable residents. Wisconsin courts are seeing an increasing number of litigants without legal counsel, mainly because they cannot afford the services. Working directly with the small claims court, which the society helped to establish in 1921, the Legal Aid Society delivers free legal services in three major divisions: civil, guardian and mental disability law. With the majority of cases settling in two to ten days, our attorneys take advantage of numerous opportunities to get involved while balancing their current work schedule.