Low-Cost Legal Resources in Dane County: Civil Matters/Tax Issues/Information & Referral

A list of legal assistance agencies and clinics in Dane County, WI. Organized by area of law.

Case Mediation Program

Post Office Box 44008
Madison, WI 53744-4008
Phone: (608) 848-1950
Fax: (608) 848- 9266
Email: Bob@dcba.net or Le@dcba.net
Hours: No regular office hours. Call between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Legal Assistance - Volunteer attorneys mediate civil and family law cases (financial issues only) filed in Dane County Circuit Court through voluntary or court ordered mediation.

Eligibility - Open to all parties with litigation pending in the Dane County Circuit Court.

Costs - Filing fee for mediation is $75.00 per party

Contact - Bob or Le Jordan

Staff - Volunteer attorneys who are members of Dane County Bar Assocation.

Publication - Web site - http://www.dcba.net/programs/CaseMediationProgram.html

Community Justice, Inc.

222 South Hamilton St., Suite 22
Phone: (608) 204-9642
Hours: Monday-Thursday 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Legal Assistance - Representation in many areas, including landlord/tenant, disability and mental health, employment, discrimination, consumer/credit child welfare, land use, environmental, and criminal law.

Eligibility - Individuals who are underrepresented and/or unable to afford an attorney. Potential clients must first participate in an intake phone interview that lasts 10-30 minutes.

Costs - Affordable representation through income-sensitive fees

Contact - Mr Mitch, Executive Attorney, (608) 204-9642; Kathryn Peacock, Executive Attorney, (608) 204-9642

Staff - Six lawyers, five of whom are graduates of UW

Publications - Web page - http://www.communityjusticeinc.org/ (includes client brochure)

Consumer Law Litigation Clinic

UW Law School, Room 2221
Phone: (608) 263-6283
Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 P.M.


Legal Assistance
- Representation in federal and state consumer protection law suits. Assistance in filling out forms related to the case. (Mediation may also be available through the clinic's Mediation Clinic.)

Eligibility - Individuals unable to afford an attorney. No set financial guidelines.

Costs - No fees are charged up front. If the client is awarded damages, attorneys fees will be assessed.

Contact - 608-263-6283

Staff - Second and third year UW law students under supervision of advisory board.

Publications - Web page - http://www.law.wisc.edu/fjr/clinicals/cllc.html  (Brochure available)

Dane County Legal Resource Center

215 South Hamilton St.
Room L1007
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-6316
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 to 4:30

Legal Assistance - DCLRC serves the legal information needs of judges, attorneys, and the general public by providing reference and research assistance, training, and forms sales and distribution. The Center also assists the Dane County Sheriff's Department with providing legal information to inmates of the Dane County Jail. Borrowing privileges are available to court staff, licensed attorneys, federal, state, and city government agency employees. Borrower cards obtained at DCLRC can also be used at the Wisconsin State Law Library. . DCLRC reference staff can help users in the library or answer questions via phone, mail, or email. Resource Center staff cannot give legal advice but can refer users to other local agencies who can offer legal assistance.

Eligibility - Judges, attorneys and the general public.

Costs - No costs, except for legal forms that are available for purchase or for document delivery.

Contact - Lisa Winkler, Reference/Outreach Services Librarian.

Staff - Two librarians.

Publications -

Website at:http://wilawlibrary.gov/about/locations.html
Low-Cost Legal Assistance In Dane County - http://wilawlibrary.gov/branch/dclrc/pub/dclegalassist.pdf
Dane County Family Law Resource Guide: http://wilawlibrary.gov/branch/dclrc/pub/familylaw.pdf
Dane County Landlord/Tenant Legal Resource Guide - http://wilawlibrary.gov/branch/dclrc/pub/landlord.pdf

Lawyer Referral & Information Service

State Bar of Wisconsin
PO Box 7158
Madison, WI 53707
Phone: (608) 257-4666 or 1-800-362-9082 (Wisconsin only)
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Legal Assistance - Referrals to attorneys or Legal Organizations. Callers begin by talking to an experienced legal assistant who can assist in locating the best sources of help. Assistants generally refer callers to one or more of three services: Lawyer Hotline - An attorney answers a caller's simple legal question; Lawyer Referral - Caller is referred to a Wisconsin attorney who practices in the area about which the caller is inquiring; Community Referral - Caller is referred to community sources such as low income legal services, government agencies, consumer protection, and other services. See also the Modest Means Program in this guide for patrons desiring low cost attorneys.

Eligibility - All Wisconsin residents

Costs - Free service, unless the caller makes an appointment to speak with an attorney. In this case, the attorney will charge potential client no more than $20.00 for an initial half hour consultation.

Contact - Request a lawyer directly at LRISResponse@wisbar.org

Staff - State Bar legal assistants and volunteer attorneys

Publication - Information is available off of the State Bar's web site at http://www.legalexplorer.com/lawyer/lawyer-talk.asp

Legal Action of Wisconsin

31 South Mills Street
Madison, WI 53715
Phone: (608) 256-3304 or 1-800-362-3904
Fax: (608) 256-0510
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.*

Legal Assistance - Public benefits/Health law ( i.e. Wisconsin works [W-2],Supplemental Security Income [SSI], Food Stamps, Medicaid)Family law ( i.e. divorce, child support, custody) Senior law (i.e. medicare, social security, elder abuse)Housing (i.e. landlord-tenant, public and subsidized housing, rent control) Education (i.e. expulsion and suspension, school lunch program denials) Migrant Project (legal services to migrant farmers)Jobs/economic law (i.e. removal of legal barriers to employment)

Eligibility - Low income individuals and families. See http://www.badgerlaw.net/Home/PublicWeb/LAW/IncomeEligibilityPage for income guidelines

Costs - Free services for qualified, income-eligible persons

Contact - No particular contact person

Staff - Attorneys and paralegals

Publication - Web site - http://www.legalaction.org/

Note* - Walk in service, but times of service vary depending on the type of assistance that is needed.

Low Income Tax Payer Clinic

White Water Office*
800 West Main Street Whitewater, WI 53190
Phone: (262) 472-1293 Toll-free: (877) UWW-LITC
*Along with various other locations -- may travel to meet clients if need exists

Legal Assistance - Assistance with tax related issues; help taxpayers resolve controversies with the IRS and help answer tax questions; ESL assistance. Sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and grant funding from the IRS via the LITC grant program.

Eligibility - All taxpayers that fall within income guidelines. See website for specific income numbers: http://www.uww.edu/cobe/accounting/lowincome.html

Costs - Free services

Contact - Call (262) 472-1293 or toll-free (877) UWW-LITC to schedule an appointment

Staff - Graduate accounting students, under the supervision of CPAs

Publications - Web site: http://www.uww.edu/cobe/accounting/lowincome.html Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Low-Income-Taxpayer-Clinic/247108181993536

Modest Means Program

State Bar of Wisconsin, Modest Means Panel
PO Box 7158
Madison, WI 53707
Phone: (608) 257-4666 or 1-888-529-7599
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Legal Assistance -   The Modest Means Program of the State Bar of Wisconsin assists people whose income is too high to qualify for free legal services, but too low to pay a lawyer’s standard rate

Eligibility - Wisconsin residents, subject to income limits. See web page for chart.

Costs - The State Bar does not charge  a fee for the referral service; however, the lawyer may charge a $20 fee for the initial half-hour consultation. 

Contact - (608) 257-4666 or 1-888-529-7599

Staff - State Bar staff and volunteer attorneys

Publication - Information and downloadable form at http://www.legalexplorer.com/lawyer/lawyer-notafford.asp

Neighborhood Law Clinic

2300 S. Park St.(Villager Mall)
Madison, WI 53713
Phone:(608) 265-2441 
Fax (608) 442-1262
Hours: Monday-Thursday 1:00-4:30 (or by appointment)

 

Legal Assistance -  Provides free legal services to Dane County residents. NLP helps with legal problems involving housing, employment, and public benefits.

Eligibility - Dane County Residents.

Costs - Free services

Contact - No particular contact person

Staff - UW law students under the supervision of attorneys.

Publication - Web site - http://law.wisc.edu/eji/nlp/forthepublic.html

Small Claims Assistance Program

Dane County Courthouse

215 S Hamilton St.

Room L1000
Madison, WI 53703
Phone:(608) 266-4311
Hours: Tuesdays 9:00 to 11:00 AM

 

Legal Assistance - Walk in program provides legal information, with the purpose of assistning pro se litigants in the small claims process. Assistance questions, forms, and procedures regarding Small Claims monetary, replevin, garnishment, and eviction actions. Legal advice is not given.

Eligibility - Unrepresented small claims litigants in Dane County.

Costs - Free services

Staff - Volunteer Attorneys

Publication - Web site - http://www.co.dane.wi.us/clrkcort/prepare/assistance.aspx

Check http://www.countyofdane.com/clrkcort/prepare/assistance.aspx for Spanish schedule.

Small Claims Court

Dane County Courthouse
Room 1000
215 S Hamilton St.
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4311
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

Legal Assistance - Claims are filed with the clerk of Small Claims Court. The clerk provides the necessary forms. The claimant must complete the forms, pay the fee, and wait for a decision. The forms must contain the following information: Time of incident, names and addresses of all persons involved, specific details about what happened, the amount of money involved

Eligibility - Claims can be filed in Dane county if one of the following circumstances are present : The person or business being sued resides or does a substantial amount of business in the county. The claim arose in Dane County.Property involved in the claim is in Dane County.

Costs - $59.00 filing fee and a $2.00 filing fee for each defendant, payable at the time the claim is filed. If claimant wins, fees will be awarded.

Contact - No particular contact person

Staff - Clerk of Circuit Court

Publications Guide to Small Claims Court - http://www.wicourts.gov/about/pubs/circuit/smallclaimsguide.htm 
The State Bar of Wisconsin also has a guide to small claims court - http://tinyurl.com/dl5raf

State Bar of Wisconsin Website

http://www.wisbar.org

Legal Assistance -

"Legal Research Tools" - http://www.wisbar.org/legalres - this section of the site contains links to a variety of sources, including Wisconsin legislation, case law, administrative decisions, local and federal court rules and circuit court forms.

"Legal Explorer" - http://www.legalexplorer.com/main.asp -site created by the state bar provides a starting point for resolving a legal issue. Some of the highlights include options which allow patrons to:

- contact a legal assistant through the LRIS program and/or the Modest Means Program
- search for a LRIS registered lawyers
- find answers to frequently asked questions about the law
- find information about consumer news of interest

Eligibility - No restrictions for access to the site (although only Wisconsin residents are eligible for State Bar of Wisconsin services).

Costs - No costs for access to the site.

Tenant Resource Center

1202 Williamson Street, Suite A
Madison, WI 53703
Housing Counseling: (608) 257-0006 or 1-877-238-RENT (877-238-7368)
Mediation: (608) 257-2799
Fax: (608) 257-0143
Email: trc@mail.studentorg.wisc.edu
Hours: Monday - Friday 9am to 6pm

Legal Assistance - Landlord-tenant mediation Information and counseling on landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities

Eligibility - Tenants and landlords in Dane County

Costs - Free services

Contact - No particular contact person

Staff - Primarily volunteers

Publications - Web site - http://www.tenantresourcecenter.org/
Apartment Management in Wisconsin : a Self-help Guide for Property Managers and Owners
- Law Library Reserve KFW 2517 Z9 L36
Student Tenant Union's Renter's Guide - Law Library Reserve KFW 2517 Z9 T46
Tenant's Rights in Wisconsin - Memorial Library KFW2517 Z9 T46

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Sponsored by Madison Public Library and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue
Various locations
Phone: (608) 266-6300 (Madison Public Library)

Legal Services - Assistance with completing tax forms. Most VITA activity consists of completing and calculating simple individual taxes on 1040A and EZ forms and the calculation of Wisconsin's Homestead Credit. For further information, see http://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/calendar/tax.html

Eligibility - All taxpayers

Costs - Free services

Contact - Call the Madison Public Library or Madison IRS office to schedule an appointment.

Staff - Law student volunteers who receive training from the IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

Publications - The IRS and Wisconsin Department of Revenue distribute publications free of charge to the public. See: http://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/calendar/tax.html and http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=107626,00.html

Veterans Law Center

City-County Building (2nd Thursday of each month, 11:00 to 1:00):
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison, WI 53703

Porchlight, Inc. (4th Thursday of each month, 4:00 to 6:00):
306 North Brooks Street, Madison, WI, 53715

 

Legal Assistance -   Provides brief legal advice, information and referrals on a variety of civil legal matters.

Eligibility -

  • Veterans
  • Military service members
  • Family members of veterans and military service members
  • Clients need not be residents of Dane County to visit the center


Costs - No costs.

Contact -  karenvetlawcenter365@gmail.com

Staff -Volunteer Attorneys, Paralegals, and Student Volunteer.

Publication: Web site - http://law.wisc.edu/probono/veteranslawcenter/index.html

WILL- Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty
1139 E. Knapp St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Legal Assistance -   Attorneys represent clients with violations of constitutional rights in the areas of  property rights, the freedom to earn a living, voting rights, regulation, taxation, school choice, and religious freedom.

Eligibility -

  • Wisconsin residents
  • Cases dealing with violations of constitutional rights


Costs - No costs.

Contact - Phone: (414) 727-WILL(9455)
Fax: (414) 727-6385


Staff - Attorneys, paralegals, and other staff.

Publication: Web site - http://www.will-law.org/Home

Author

Sunil Rao
Contact:
975 Bascom Mall
Madison WI 53706
262-8294

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