The Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation works with civil legal aid organizations in Wisconsin to increase access to justice. We oversee funds and invest in services and projects to help people resolve legal problems.

Success stories

Following are just a few examples of how recipients of WisTAF grants helped people all over Wisconsin in 2020.


For the first time in her life, “Joyce" couldn’t pay her rent. The successful 62-year-old businesswoman was thrown for a loop by a chronic health condition, a death in the family, and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee met her at home, ensured she navigated government procedures correctly to stay in her apartment under the national eviction moratorium, then helped arrange with Joyce’s landlord for a few extra months in her home at a reduced rate while she found a new place. Thus, the landlord avoided a sudden vacancy while collecting some rent, and Joyce avoided the devastating stigma of an eviction record. As the pandemic receded, she had secured a new place to live and was planning to resume her fashion business part-time.


After being brought illegally to the United States as a victim of human trafficking, “Eva” dreamed of remaining securely in this country, but there were technical obstacles blocking her path to employment and safety. LOTUS Legal Clinic provided the legal expertise and representation so that Eva can now legally, proudly work and provide for herself and her own future, regardless of her past victimization. She is enjoying a better life herself, and is contributing to the betterment of society.

"Katie” was horrified when her husband of over ten years was arrested for sexually assaulting their niece, and devastated to learn he had also been assaulting their children. The pain and harm were overwhelming enough. The added stress of the ongoing criminal case, changed economic circumstances, and a divorce would have been too much to handle on her own. With the help of an attorney from Legal Action of Wisconsin, Katie gained sole custody of her children, with her husband denied contact, and was awarded her husband’s assets and retirement accounts because she would not have other support while he was incarcerated. Katie later told Legal Action she didn’t know if she would have had the strength to find employment if she had needed to represent herself in the divorce. For Katie and many other victims in Wisconsin, representation and resolution in civil legal matters is critical for correcting the damage caused by their abusers, and helping them to achieve economic independence and financial stability.


​After receiving devastating news about family members, “James” found his old mental health challenges resurfacing during his time in a Wisconsin prison. He began to engage in self-harm. Corrections staff responded by putting James in observation status for weeks on end, with little time out of his cell and no property at all. The staff also sought to involuntarily provide medical care. Sending letters on James’ behalf, Disability Rights Wisconsin expressed concern about the added mental trauma and raised questions about the plan for treating James’ mental health so he can heal and improve, as opposed to conditions that impede these goals. James was ultimately released from observation status, and staff began working with him to create a treatment plan so everyone can move forward.


Collaborative efforts are common in the FP/CRLA program, involving landlords, mortgage-lenders, tenants, homeowners, and community agencies. When a single mother of four faced possible homelessness due to eviction, the staff mediator from Metro Milwaukee Mediation Services, Inc. worked with numerous partners to navigate a complex solution helping the family to remain housed, the landlord to receive past-due rent, and the tenant’s future not to be threatened


We are now known and trusted by neighborhood agencies that contact us regularly for legal assistance for residents and who we in turn contact regularly for feedback and insights. We have come light years in that regard and the WisTAF FP/CRLA grant is the reason.” 
— Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee

August 24, 2022
Finance Committee Meeting
September 13, 2022
Grants & Evaluation Committee Meeting
September 30, 2022
Executive Committee Meeting
October 14, 2022
WisTAF Board Meeting
WisTAF Publishes 2021 Annual Report
Urgent deadline for Afghan Immigration-Related Legal Assistance grants
WisTAF awards $3.3 million in Civil Legal Aid grants



A Prime Partner since 2010, Forte Bank goes above and beyond IOLTA participation requirements by paying additional interest on its clients' IOLTA accounts — helping to expand access to civil legal services in Wisconsin. Forte Bank's participation reflects an admirable commitment to justice for all in Wisconsin.

Contact us
4600 American Parkway, Suite 104, Madison, WI 53718
Phone: 608.257.6845 or 877.749.5045 (toll-free)
Email: service@wistaf.org

Board & Staff
Board of Directors
Rebecca Murray, Executive Director
Tehmina Islam, IOLTA Program/Office Manager
Carlos Arenas, Program Manager
Benson Gardner, Communications and Development Manager

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