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The Third Branch

UW Law School Pro holds Bono Reception

By Lisa Winkler, Wisconsin State Law Library

On Oct. 21, State Law Librarian Julie Tessmer and Outreach Services Librarian Lisa Winkler attended the UW Law School's annual Pro Bono Reception. This event celebrates the UW Law School's Pro Bono Program, created in 2007 as a pilot project. Since then the Pro Bono Program has taken root, fulfilling its mission of creating ways for students and faculty to deliver pro bono services to underrepresented community members. Working in private and nonprofit law firms, legal aid groups, in-house programs and other organization, students help people with pressing legal matters who need assistance but are unable to afford or otherwise procure it. Students who perform a certain number of hours receive special recognition at graduation, join the Pro Bono Society, gain invaluable practical experience, and learn the importance of pro bono service.

Dane County legal professionals, faculty, and inspired students assembled in Lubar Commons to welcome several esteemed speakers including Dean Margaret Raymond, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara B. Crabb, and Atty. Victor Forberger. Distinguished attendees included Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson and Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan B. Colás. Clinical Professor Marsha Mansfield then presented Karen McKenzie, a paralegal at Winner, Wixson & Pernitz and J.D. candidate at Marquette Law School, with an award for her indispensable role in establishing the Veterans Law Center. Pro Bono Program Director Laura Smythe gave remarks about the objectives and viability of the program.

More information about the event is available online at:

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