Wisconsin Legislators Need to Hear from You - Funding Civil Legal Aid Helps Us All

March 24, 2021

Marsha Mansfield, JD

LIFT Dane, Director

People's safety, self-sufficiency, and independence can be threatened in civil proceedings through no fault of their own. When someone in this position lacks legal help, justice is impeded and costs increase for taxpayers. It's time to move Wisconsin from being the lowest civil legal aid funder in the Upper Midwest to a state that puts common sense into practice.

Free or low-cost legal aid to low- and middle-income people can help them access basic necessities such as health care, housing, veterans’ benefits, employment, and educational services. Legal aid providers in Wisconsin are notable to meet the full need. During boom and bust times alike, studies have found that for every eligible American who received civil legal aid, another was turned away due to a lack of resources.

In contrast, increasing civil legal aid could save Wisconsin approximately $15 million per year in other public costs and help recover approximately $25 million per year to clients in the form of wages earned, rightful child support payments, rightful veterans’ or unemployment benefits, and more.

LIFT Dane knows that funding legal aid will help clients (and taxpayers), but legislators need to hear from you to understand how justice system issues impact their districts. You can help advocate for civil legal aid by using a quick and easy website to send a message to your lawmakers today.

Click here to let your lawmakers know that Civil Legal Aid Helps Wisconsin.

The website and software are provided by the State Bar of Wisconsin, which has also created an article and one-minute video about the importance of civil legal aid.