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Wisconsin State Bar is offering free legal advice for civil cases

Attorneys said the need for free advice is greater than in the past
Attorneys said the need for free advice is greater than in the past.
Published: Feb. 12, 2022 at 6:09 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin State Bar offers free legal help for low-income community members dealing with legal issues involving family, finances or housing.

The state bar has lawyers online and on-hand to answer questions for people with low incomes who qualify.

State Bar of Wisconsin Pro Bono Program Manager Jeff Brown said legal services can cost between $200 and $350 per hour.

“I’ve always wanted to help. I grew up in a working class family. We were comfortable but we didn’t have a lot,” Brown said. “It makes me feel good to be able to give them some hope that there is a solution or that they have a better understanding of why this is happening to them.”

Madison Real Estate Lawyer Michelle Behnke said the hope is to help clients in lower income brackets, but they are not the only group of people who qualify for free help.

A client could also be someone who, for example, was in an unexpected car crash and did not realize how much it would cost them out of pocket.

“If they run into a problem, taking the money that it might take to get a lawyer to help them solve that [is a] delicate balance [that] becomes unbalanced,” Behnke said. “It’s my obligation. I have this special training. It is part of what I owe the system so I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

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