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 recent examples of how recipients of WisTAF grants helped people all over Wisconsin:

“Samantha” was physically, emotionally, and financially abused by her husband, with whom she shared three children. At Golden House shelter in Green Bay, Samantha found temporary safety and learned about legal tools for protecting her children. A Golden House advocate helped her pursue a restraining order. The shelter’s partner, Legal Action of Wisconsin, provided an attorney to Samantha during her divorce and child custody proceedings, which proved long and complicated. Finally, she got legal answers about turning around the impact of her financial abuse. Samantha thanks Legal Action and Golden House, and doesn’t think she could have found her freedom without them.

Losing a loved one to COVID is hard enough. But when “James,” who didn’t have health insurance, passed away, his family also inherited crushing medical debt racked up during his final months of hospital care. There are laws on the books to prevent this kind of destructive catastrophe, but rules and processes can be complex. ABC for Health navigated multiple bureaucracies to ensure James’ final care was duly paid for. Now his family can focus on moving forward after their loss, free of an accompanying financial debilitation.

“Parma” had been stalked by her ex-husband for over 20 years. An attorney at the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA) in Superior helped her get an injunction to stop the constant harassment and stalking, and assisted with subsequent legal process. To date, Parma has had no further instances of stalking and is living a happy and safe life.

“Crystal” was raised by her mother. She had not seen her biological father since she was a baby, over a decade ago. Her father had made no attempt to see her, provided no help to her mother -- and had physically abused her mother during their brief relationship. But when Crystal’s father learned he would have to start paying child support, he became upset and filed a motion to require Crystal to spend fifty percent of her time with him. With legal representation from Community Justice, Inc., Crystal’s mother prevailed in court. Crystal was able to stay with the mother who raised her rather than a stranger-father who had previously shown no interest.

“Jamilah” did not want to languish in her unhappy marriage with “Ahmed,” but she found the legal system intimidating, especially because she fluently spoke only Somali. Utilizing telephonic translation services, an attorney from Centro Legal assisted Jamilah. He helped her obtain favorable custody and placement orders for her three children while her divorce was pending, and negotiated with Ahmed and his attorney to create a positive division of the marital estate, ensuring Jamilah received monthly child support and a lump sum payment so her post-divorce future had a firm financial foundation.

June 14, 2023
WisTAF Board Meeting
June 23, 2023
Racial Justice Workgroup meeting
August 18, 2023
Racial Justice Workgroup meeting
August 23, 2023
Finance Committee Meeting
September 12, 2023
Grants & Evaluation Committee Meeting
September 27, 2023
Executive Committee Teleconference
September 29, 2023
Racial Justice Workgroup meeting
October 11, 2023
WisTAF Board Meeting
November 17, 2023
Racial Justice Workgroup meeting
Does FDIC protect IOLTA funds?
WisTAF is accepting applications for domestic violence/sexual abuse civil legal services funding through March 17th
WisTAF announces $7.4 million in COVID-related grant awards
WisTAF disburses legal assistance for Afghan evacuees
WisTAF awards $450,000 in Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Legal Assistance Grants



One of our newest Prime Partners, Farmers & Merchants Bank (Berlin) 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. Farmers & Merchants 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, Assistant Executive Director
Benson Gardner, Communications and Development Manager
Jeff Brown, Grants Program Manager

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