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2011 Unsung Heroes – Legal Community Service

By: Jane Pribek//November 18, 2011//

2011 Unsung Heroes – Legal Community Service

By: Jane Pribek//November 18, 2011//

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Legal Community Service Provider of the Year

Lori Zahorodny
Program assistant, Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic

When Lori Zahorodny started working for the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic it had one site, open one day a week.

With Zahorodny’s help, the clinic now has four sites, open five days a week.

The additional days and locations have meant even more people can benefit from MVLC’s assistance.

Attorney volunteers often find their work at the clinic very rewarding, Zahorodny said. One attorney volunteer recently told her, “The clinic sends me home glad I’m a lawyer,” while another remarked, “You never get hugged by your corporate clients.”

Evaluations from student volunteers overwhelmingly herald the clinic as a positive learning experience, Zahorodny said.

“They really appreciate how practical it is,” she said, “and how it really increases their confidence for dealing with clients.”

Last year, 234 attorney volunteers provided pro bono, unbundled legal advice; 240 law students and 29 undergraduates volunteered, serving 2,971 people; and more than 6,000 volunteer hours were logged.

The increased ability to help has been particularly important during the economic downturn, Zahorodny said.

“There are a lot of very desperate people out there, who are very bewildered,” she said. “Even if they could’ve afforded an attorney a few years ago, they certainly can’t now. We are filling that gap for as many people as we can.”

— Jane Pribek

Honoree

Britt Wegner,
director, Lawyer Referral Service, Milwaukee Bar Association Inc.

“Britt does so much for the lawyers and for the community.

She runs the lawyer referral service, of which I am a member, very successfully and capably. She also organizes the Fox 6 law day where she schedules lawyers to work the phones/computer banks. She has even extended herself to help me set up a legal seminar for new grads on how to open and manage a law practice. She is always upbeat
and has a great ‘can do’ attitude. I believe her efforts affect countless
individuals.”

Catherine La Fleur
attorney, La Fleur Law Offices SC

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