Wisconsin State Bar offers free legal advice for civil cases

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The State Bar of Wisconsin is offering free legal aid to low-income community members facing legal issues regarding family, finances or housing.

The State Bar has attorneys in line and on hand to answer questions from low-income people who qualify.

Wisconsin State Bar Pro Bono program director Jeff Brown said legal services can cost between $200 and $350 an hour.

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

Madison Real Estate attorney Michelle Behnke said the hope was to help clients in lower income brackets, but they weren’t the only group of people eligible for free help.

A customer can also be someone who, for example, had an unexpected car accident and didn’t realize how much it would cost them out of pocket.

“If they have a problem, take the money it would take to hire a lawyer to help them solve this problem [is a] delicate scale [that] becomes unbalanced,” Behnke said. “It is my duty. I have this special training. It’s part of what I owe the system, so I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to.

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