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Riverwest Access to Justice

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“I’ve always needed to have a mission,” says attorney Karen Moore. Moore, along with attorney Jake Herro, is co-founder of Riverwest Access to Justice, L.L.C., a law clinic. The mission is to provide “moderate income people with low price law services,” says Moore. Why moderate-income? The indigent can turn to local law services like Legal Action and Legal Aid, while the wealthy can afford to pay a lawyer $200 an hour, Moore explains. Moderate income and low middle class groups, such as artists, the self-employed, non-profit workers and students, are often overlooked. “They’re making a living, but they don’t have any extra money,” says Moore. “People can be blindsided by legal things that come up. It can be devastating if they’re sued. You just don’t expect it.” Riverwest Access to Justice’s services include family/estate law; consumer and business law; landlord/tenant disputes; employment issues; and similar matters. Fees are based on a sliding scale. “We give priority to low-moderate income people,” says Moore, particularly those who live in the 53212 zip code. Access to Justice opened in October, 2005. Moore and Herro, both of whom have other jobs, work part-time shifts in the law clinic’s small office above the Riverwest Co- op. Currently, Riverwest Access to Justice is not-for-profit, but Moore plans to apply for non-profit status. Although Moore and Herro do not expect to hire employees, they are considering working with law school interns and students. “My goal is to get a sustainable level of strength and viability,” says Herro. Moore, who graduated from Marquette Law School, says she has always been motivated by justice and equal rights. She was previously a union lawyer, and has worked in civil rights law and criminal appeals. Herro, who used to work at Legal Action, says his motivation is “fundamental fairness.” A Riverwest resident, Moore hopes that Riverwest Access to Justice will gain a presence in the neighborhood as a local law firm where residents feel comfortable. “I hope people see that lawyers aren’t just rich people in suits trying to take money,” she says. “We are good neighbors.” Riverwest Access to Justice, L.L.C. 2575 N. Fratney St.414-264-6400 Free 20-minute consultations for residents of 53212 zip code with proof of residence.
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