The Third Branch
Mobile clinic extends reach of legal assistance
The Milwaukee Justice Center launched its new Mobile Legal Clinic on Sept. 21. The free clinic on wheels is a partnership between the Milwaukee Bar Association and Marquette University Law School.
The Milwaukee Justice Center's Mobile Legal Clinic bus took its maiden voyage on Sept. 21.
"The Mobile Legal Clinic reflects the service-oriented mission of Marquette University Law School and the larger legal profession," Marquette University Law School Dean Joseph D. Kearney said in a press release. "By helping those who may not otherwise be able to obtain professional legal counsel, and by doing so in their communities, the Mobile Legal Clinic will fill a gap in this region. It will also enable our students, working with attorneys and members of the community, to gain experience and develop an ethic of service."
The mobile clinic, which operates out of a small bus staffed by attorneys and Marquette University law students, was made possible by a donation from Atty. Frank Daily and Atty. Julianna Ebert, in honor of the pro bono work of their colleague, Atty. Michael Gonring.
"In the access to justice field, we have to dream big dreams because the problems are so large," Gonring is quoted in the press release.
"Ninety-nine times out of 100 the dream will not come true because of lack of resources, but sometimes it will. The model of a mobile legal clinic is one of those things that folks involved in access to justice issues dream about for years," Gonring said.
According to their annual report, volunteers at the Milwaukee Justice Center, located in the Milwaukee County Courthouse, served 10,659 low-income residents in 2012, a 32-percent increase from the previous year. The mobile clinic, the only of its kind in the state and one of just a handful in the country, will provide the same brief legal advice on civil matters to those who are unable to make the trip to the courthouse.
The clinic was parked at the John C. Cudahy YMCA for its first outing on Sept. 21. On Oct. 19 and Nov. 16 it was parking at the Woodlands Housing Development Resource Center parking lot. It will be parked at the Woodlands again on Dec. 14. A schedule for the spring will be available in early December.