The Milwaukee Justice Center utilizes volunteers to address the unmet legal needs of Milwaukee County's low-income unrepresented litigants through court-based programs and legal resources.
The Milwaukee Justice Center (MJC) is a collaborative project between the Milwaukee Bar Association, Milwaukee County, and Marquette University Law School. The underlying philosophy of the project is that self-represented litigants have a fundamental right to access the justice system even if they cannot afford an attorney or do not qualify for legal aid. Generally, self-represented litigants who earn more than 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines do not qualify for free legal services.
This means, in 2019, a single person earning more than $18, 750 or a family of four earning more than $38, 500 annually is considered ineligible for most free legal assistance. These families struggle to pay for basic necessities; rent, groceries and utilities. Thus, when faced with civil legal issues, many have no choice but to access the courts alone. As such, the MJC strives to address the substantive and procedural barriers facing self-represented litigants so that they can better navigate the legal system.