This year, a group of students from Columbia Law School’s NALSA Chapter traveled to Wisconsin to over spring break to do pro bono estate planning work for tribal members with Wisconsin Judicare. This was the seventh consecutive year that Columbia NALSA and Wisconsin Judicare partnered to provide legal services on reservations in Wisconsin. Every year the caravan has proven to be a valuable experience both for the students and the clients they serve; this year was no exception.
Volunteers spent four days in the field under the supervision of Judicare attorneys, working with the Ho-Chunk Nation in both Black River Falls and Wisconsin Dells, the Oneida Nation in Oneida, and the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians in Bowler. These tribes span a varied geographic area of Wisconsin. Students met with tribal members individually to discuss their estate planning needs and prepare the relevant documents, before receiving final review of the documents from a Judicare attorney; clients left the caravan site with an executed, witnessed, and valid final will. The six student volunteers were able to produce approximately ninety wills and many additional powers of attorney over the course of the caravan!