Thousands of Dane County households face civil legal problems like suspended driver’s licenses, medical debt, child support arrears, and criminal records. LIFT Dane (Legal Interventions For Transforming Dane), a new partnership spearheaded by CPP’s Sarah Davis, colleagues at the Economic Justice Institute, and community organizations Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Employment and Training Association.
Along with Davis, CPP’s legal advocacy coordinator Sachin Gupte and colleagues will help reduce the risk these problems pose for people trying to advance in the workforce, secure housing, and stabilize families.
“We’re thrilled to bring this ground-breaking initiative to Dane County,” says Davis. “The Center’s deep experience and reputation for navigating medical-legal issues with patients was a key factor in shaping a successful bid.” The initiative won first place in the national Schmidt Futures Alliance for the American Dream competition.
The project will develop an online platform which will offer a Legal Tune Up to connect individuals to tech-driven time-saving forms and tools, to solve their legal problems on their own or seamlessly connect them to free education and legal help if additional help is needed. The platform will also integrate connections to other resources to ensure upward mobility.
“My excitement is really at both ends of the process,” shares Gupte. “Not only will this benefit clients, who often present with overlapping issues, but this will also be a great educational tool for our students to use with clients in both our advocacy clinic and the medical legal partnership.”
The program is intentionally designed to garner broad support for system improvements to prevent or mitigate legal barriers.