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 2019.


“I had applied several times with Social Security Disability only to be denied each time.... The attorney prepared, filed all of my case paperwork, and has appeared with me at hearing. The attorney has been amazing through the entire process, letting me know what to expect, following up with me, and his kindness.... I would not have been able to accomplish any of this on my own and failed when I attempted. I would still be in debt and in financial big trouble and in a stalemate with my disability application with my multiple sclerosis.”
— A client of Legal Aid Society of Door County


“Camila” was living in a homeless shelter, pregnant and with two young children, after her abusive husband kicked them out of their home, changed the locks, and moved their money into accounts titled only in his name. With nowhere to go and no access to resources, Camila went to Centro Legal in Milwaukee. “Camila tells us that without our program funded by WisTAF, she would not have been able to navigate the intimidating court system on her own,” Centro Legal reports. “We obtained a divorce judgment, freeing Camila from being legally bound to her abuser,” along with child support, custody, and placement orders that were reasonable and limited the time her now ex-husband could see their children. Camila has been able to “move into a secure and comfortable apartment, obtain employment, and ensure that her children have food on their table and warm beds to sleep in.”


“We assisted a single mother of three children. She had received unexpected medical bills, the result of an accident, and was unable to maintain payments at her prior rates. Through the foreclosure mediation process, she was able to demonstrate her income and commitment, leading to a loan modification and dismissal of the foreclosure action.
—Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center, Inc.


​“Elena,” a five-year-old girl with sickle cell anemia, has not always received the high-level medical care she needs, because her parents were not always available to provide consent (Elena’s parents frequently experience homelessness and her mother deals with untreated mental health challenges.). Elena’s grandmother, “Ms. Smith,” had raised Elena most of her life but was unsuccessful when she tried, without an attorney, to be declared Elena’s guardian. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin referred Ms. Smith to Kids Matter Inc., which took the case using funding from WisTAF. Ms. Smith felt the court and child protection systems listened once Kids Matter became involved. Kids Matter obtained a subpoena to hear the necessary testimony in court, and the judge granted guardianship to Ms. Smith, who can finally get her granddaughter the services she needs.


“This grant has been a game-changer for us, opening the door to new funding partnerships and to doing impactful work in the two poorest zip codes in our city. It enabled us to hire new, culturally competent staff. It introduced us to new partners all over the city and accelerated an overdue assessment of where and how we provide our services.”
— Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee


This grant has been amazing for our agency and our clients. We have been able to expand into employment barriers and look more thoroughly at the root preservation of housing issues including bankruptcy, consumer, and family law.”
— Wisconsin Judicare

February 23, 2022
Executive Committee Meeting
March 9, 2022
WisTAF Board Meeting
May 3, 2022
Grants & Evaluation Committee Meeting
June 1, 2022
Executive Committee Meeting
June 15, 2022
WisTAF Board Meeting
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 awards $3.3 million in Civil Legal Aid grants
Even 2020 Couldn't Stop Justice Assistance
How Civil Legal Aid Helps Our State



A Prime Partner since 2021, CIBC 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. CIBC 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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