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Mobile Legal Clinic brings support to community

Photo by Yue Yin // yue.yin@marquette.edu

"The goal of our service is to get people organized and familiar with what lays ahead," Angela Schultz, assistant dean for public service at the law school, said.

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For the last three years, volunteer lawyers and Marquette law students have traveled to different areas in Milwaukee to bring free legal assistance to community members.

The Mobile Legal Clinic treks around Milwaukee, partnering with other organizations. One of the ritual events the clinic attends is a breakfast hosted once a month at St. John’s Lutheran Church. The bus the clinic members ride on, pulls up outside the church. Attendees of the breakfast can sign up to sit with a volunteer lawyer and a law student for 30 to 45 minutes where volunteers answer any civil legal questions people may have.

Angela Schultz, assistant dean for public service at the law school, said often people seek help with family cases and housing claims.

Schultz said so far the mobile clinic has stayed in Milwaukee County because of the level of poverty in the city. She also added there is one poverty-stricken area in the northwest corner of Milwaukee where it’s difficult for community members to make their way to a legal clinic — that sparked the idea to bring legal assistance to them.

“The goal of our service is to get people organized and familiar with what lays ahead for (them),” Schultz said.

The Marquette Law School partnered with the Milwaukee Justice Center to create the clinic. The Justice Center also uses volunteers to address the legal needs of those in the low-income areas of the city.

Through this partnership, the mobile clinic received its new coordinator, Rob Randolph.

Randolph has worked with the clinic for about six months, and as coordinator, he establishes partnerships with other organizations, works onsite at events the clinic participates in, develops promotional material and sometimes drives the mobile clinic.

Randolph said he enjoys working with the clinic and loves the work. “I think the clinic is a remarkable resource,” he said. “When I found out about it I was blown away.”

Randolph also said the clinic can be a great resource for students. He said that students can test different areas of law and see where they fit in. “A lot of (student volunteers), especially undergrads, don’t know what area they want to get into, so it gives them a lot of experience in family law,” he said.

Allison Gibson, sophomore in the college of Arts & Sciences and aspiring law student, said she thinks pro bono opportunities for law students are a great idea not only for them, but for the people of Milwaukee.

“Marquette is definitely one of the top law schools that I want to go to,” Gibson said. “I think that having an option like this, to go out and do service and still be practicing law, is a benefit that not a lot of schools would have. Each law school that you go to has different kinds of clinics, but I think this one that (Marquette) has is really unique.”

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