Legal Aid Program Expands Partnership With Technical Colleges to Connect Students, Community Members to Free Legal Help

August 16, 2021

As the fall semester starts, students and community members will have increased access to free legal help through Lawyers for Learners, a legal aid program that recently expanded its partnership with technical colleges across the state, bringing the total to nine.

Lawyers for Learners was founded in 2019 by staff at Ascendium Education Group, Madison College, Milwaukee Area Technical College and several legal aid groups. Recognizing that legal obstacles can keep people from achieving their academic goals or pursuing a career, their vision was to connect people facing legal issues with free legal help by collaborating with trusted community leaders — technical colleges.

“Many people may not realize that their stressors are legal issues or know how to find an attorney, or they may have had a negative experience with the legal system and don’t know whom to trust,” said Rebecca Rapp, general counsel and chief privacy officer at Ascendium and a founding member of Lawyers for Learners. “Schools can use their close connections with their students and communities to help people spot legal issues and get legal help. With all of us working together, we can help people overcome legal obstacles and stay on the path to achieving their educational and career goals.”

The colleges that participate in Lawyers for Learners commit to training staff to identify potential legal issues, sharing information about Lawyers for Learners and providing campus space for in-person appointments and technology for virtual appointments. Appointments are available upon request through the Lawyers for Learners website for anyone in Wisconsin, regardless of whether they are a student or their college participates in Lawyers for Learners. During the appointments, legal experts answer questions and provide legal advice — all at no cost.

The expanded partnership between Lawyers for Learners and colleges comes at an especially important time as pandemic-related legal issues, such as housing and unemployment, are expected to increase in the coming months. With that in mind, Lawyers for Learners plans to continue expanding its partnership with colleges so even more people have access to the legal help they need.

For more information about Lawyers for Learners, visit lawyersforlearners.org, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.