Low-income individuals in Wisconsin have a new resource for finding legal help today, as the State Bar of Wisconsin and legal technology company Paladin join forces to launch the statewide Pro Bono Opportunity Portal.

The portal, which can be found at probonowi.org, enables attorneys and law students to match their skills and interests with pro bono opportunities available through free legal agencies across the state, including Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare.

Through the site, agencies will also be able to post opportunities to the nationwide American Bar Association-led Disaster Relief Pro Bono Portal to extend reach for COVID-19 specific pro bono work.

For Paladin, which describes itself as a justice technology company, this is the fourth portal it has helped launch this year. In addition to helping create the ABA’s Disaster Relief portal, it also developed Oklahoma’s Pro Bono Opportunity Portal, in partnership with the Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation, and the Unemployment Insurance Relief portal launched by the New York State Bar Association, in which Clio was also a partner.

The Wisconsin portal comes at a time when civil legal service organizations there face critical funding issues and are turning away nearly 50 percent of those who need legal help. Critical areas of need include landlord evictions, unpaid health care bills due to unemployment, and child custody issues during the pandemic.

“Civil legal aid programs in the state are telling us that pro bono assistance is crucial to making our shared goal of equal justice for all a reality,” State Bar President Kathleen Brost said in a statement announcing the launch. “Requests for legal services have surged with the recent pandemic, and increased pro bono engagement will greatly benefit people in need of critical legal services.”

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