Home

We help you NAVIGATE the legal system.

“I WAS CONFUSED ABOUT
  CHILD CUSTODY.”
“I WAS CONFUSED ABOUT CHILD CUSTODY.”

We’re here for you in times of CRISIS.

“I NEEDED TO KEEP
  MY FAMILY SAFE.”
“I NEEDED TO KEEP MY FAMILY SAFE.”

Our low-cost services make justice accessible.

“I COULDN’T AFFORD LEGAL HELP.”
“EVEN WITH 2 JOBS,
  I COULDN’T AFFORD LEGAL HELP.”
 
Image is not available
Slider
icons_0000_cl_scales

Our free and low-cost legal services for individuals and families help bridge the justice gap in the Milwaukee area.

Outreach Icon-01

We educate individuals and social service providers on the court process and available resources.

icons_0001_cl_shield

We empower clients facing domestic abuse to achieve greater safety, stability, and independence.

ARE YOU IN NEED OF PROFESSIONAL LEGAL HELP?

Centro Legal handles family law and criminal misdemeanor defense cases.
As a Milwaukee area resident, you may qualify for free or low-cost legal services.
Tell us about your situation.

MORE >

OUR MISSION

To improve access to the court system and assure quality legal representation for clients regardless of income, ethnicity, or language by providing legal education and representation to low-income clients who are in transition out of poverty toward safety and self-sufficiency.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The complexities of the legal system can be daunting, especially in a crisis. We believe people deserve the best possible legal representation, regardless of income. As a voice for the underrepresented, Centro Legal helps people help themselves, pursuing a just outcome and strengthening our community as a whole.

TESTIMONIALS

I found myself in an abusive cycle but never violent, all verbal.  But one day he crossed the line to violent.  I found help in Centro Legal and today, I have peace and a higher pride in my life and my health.

Everything was excellent step by step. I am very grateful to Centro Legal.

I can only say thank you very much for the help that this program has given to me and my family.

The program staff was very capable and available. They are intelligent, and their compassion is helpful.

Thank you for providing help through this system. I am sure that many people share the same feeling of appreciation for the tranquility with which we can live today after having been freed from an abusive relationship.

My lawyer is very good and knows how to explain things.  She made me feel very confident with her and she knew how to handle things.

 

NUMBERS TELL THE STORY

We serve people – yet the statistics behind their individual stories show a significant need
for our services in the Milwaukee area.

%

of low-income survivors of recent domestic violence received inadequate or NO professional legal help.

%

of low-come Wisconsin households with children experienced a civil legal issue in the preceding year.

%

of family court cases in Milwaukee County had at least one party that did not have legal representation.

“The work we do helps not only the individuals in need but also improves the stability of the communities we serve.”

– Nicole Renouard, Executive Director

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kinds of cases do you handle? >>

Centro Legal provides legal assistance in the areas of family law, guardian ad litem matters and criminal misdemeanor defense.

What are family law cases? >>

Family law cases address issues in family court rather than children’s court.  Family law cases include cases involving divorce, child support, custody, placement and/or paternity.  Family law cases do NOT include issues of guardianship, termination of parental rights or CHIPs matters.  We do not provide representation in children's court.

Family court can address any of the following issues:

  • Paternity - the process of establishing the legal father of a child.
  • Custody - the right to make certain legal decisions on behalf of a child, such as education, medical treatment and religion.
  • Placement - the time a child spends with each parent.
  • Divorce, legal separation or annulment.
  • Child support.
  • Enforcement of court orders relating to custody, placement or child support.

Do I need an appointment?  >>

Yes.  Please contact our office by phone at 414.384.7900 to schedule an appointment.  We provide free consultations every Wednesday afternoon from 1 pm – 4 pm, and we typically schedule these appointments less than one week in advance.

 

How long is a consultation?  And what should I bring? >>

Consultation appointments typically last about 20 minutes.  Please bring any paperwork you wish for the attorney to review, including your most recent court order. 

If I schedule a consultation, does that mean you will accept my case and represent me? >>

Unfortunately, we cannot represent each person that makes an appointment with us.  While we will try to provide some guidance during your consultation, that does not mean we are your lawyer or will be able to represent you in court. 

Can you represent me if my hearing is tomorrow? >>

Due to our existing commitments with current clients, we cannot step into a new matter and represent you in hearings or other legal matters scheduled within a matter of days. So that you receive high-quality representation, we urge you to contact our office as soon as you think you may need a lawyer.

 

Are there resources to help me represent myself? >>

Yes.  Milwaukee Justice Center can help you prepare documents and complete forms.  The Milwaukee Justice Center is located in room G9 of the Milwaukee County Courthouse, 901 North 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233.

 

How do you charge for your services?  Do you provide services to those with low incomes? >>

Yes, we provide services for those earning low incomes.  We charge clients based on a sliding fee scale, which considers your gross monthly income and the number of people in your household.  Some programs, such as our weekly consult program, are provided free of charge.