Giving Back to the Community
At Miller & Miller, we take our responsibility as officers of the court very seriously. We have both a professional and moral obligation to ensure that everyone has equal access to our justice system, and that the administration of that system is fair to all.
Bankruptcy Assistance for All
Bankruptcy Court Referral List
Many people attempt to file bankruptcy cases pro se, which means without a lawyer. While this is certainly a legal practice, the complexities of the Bankruptcy Code can be frustrating and often cost people the money they tried to save by filing on their own in additional hearings, re-filings, and frustration. In the worst scenarios, filing cases pro se can cost people their discharge, as it legally cannot be given if errors are made that lead to an ineligibility for discharge.
The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin keeps a list of trusted law firms to which they feel confident sending pro se filers who are having issues in their cases. Given our history of providing quality representation to those who need it at an affordable cost, Miller & Miller has a longstanding relationship with the judges, court clerks, and personnel.
Cases Requiring Special Fee Arrangements
Miller & Miller is not a pro bono law firm, which means that we do not offer free legal services to those at certain income levels. However, we do take a certain number of cases per year “at cost.” This means that we accept cases only for court and administration fees and do not require traditional attorney fees. To be sure, these matters are accepted on a case-by-case basis, and are often referred by the Bankruptcy Court. In taking these cases, Miller & Miller helps lower-income individuals obtain the legal assistance they need while proactively assisting our local pro bono law firms that are overloaded with cases each year; this partnership helps to ensure that everyone in our community has access to the protections that are provided by filing for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Court Help Desk
The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin offers a pro se help desk as a part of its commitment to helping lower-income individuals. Miller & Miller staff attorneys are proud to volunteer their time to this endeavor on a bi-weekly basis. Each staff attorney is expected to advance the mission of the help desk in addition to working their billable hours with the firm.
While dedicated to providing the best legal service for clients, Miller & Miller also seeks to prevent the stress and hardship caused by financial problems through education. Our firm helps the general public to better understand the bankruptcy laws and how to improve one’s credit score after bankruptcy. Furthermore, we suggest good financial habits and educate our clients on why these a enhance the quality of one’s financial welfare.
Dave Ramsey Foundations in Personal Finance School Sponsorship Program
Dave Ramsey is one of America’s leading financial experts. At Miller & Miller we seek to invest in our community and embolden younger generations by partnering with Ramsey. He has authored the industry’s foremost personal finance curriculum, titled Foundations in Personal Finance. Through Miller & Miller’s sponsorship, requesting schools are provided with this curriculum for their students free of charge.
For the 2019-2020 school year, Miller & Miller is sponsoring the program at Garland Elementary school in Milwaukee County. Through this collaboration, we are helping young people learn the intricacies of credit, finance, and fiscal responsibility. Encouraging these students to safely build financial wealth for the future reflects our firms mission to serve as a leader in educating our communities about financial responsibility.
Washington High School Purgolders Basketball Team
Miller & Miller is a proud sponsor of the Washington High School Purgolders Basketball team. Washington High School is in the Sherman Park neighborhood on the north side of Milwaukee and is one of the oldest schools in the Milwaukee Public School system.
Scholarship to High School Students
Each year, Miller & Miller awards a $500 scholarship to a senior graduating from a Wisconsin high school who plans to attend a four-year accredited university. The scholarship is given as the prize to a written or video essay contest on a topic related to financial responsibility, bankruptcy, and/or laws regarding creditors and consumers. Our annual scholarship contest has three goals: (1) to provide financial aid to a high school student, (2) to encourage students to understand the purpose of laws and financial responsibility, and (3) to inspire students to pursue a career in the legal field.
Personal, Local Commitments To Our Community
Our lawyers are committed to preserving justice and strengthening community both in their professional and personal lives.
Attorney James Miller has served as Board Chair at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Milwaukee. The JCC is an organization that celebrates Jewish life and values while providing for the community as a whole with diversified social, educational, recreational, and cultural programming.
Attorney James Miller is also a strong supporter of Operation Dream, which stands for Discipline, Respect, Education and Appreciation through Mentoring. This non-profit organization provides developmental opportunities and mentoring for over 250 boys and young men who are primarily of color and need positive role models in Milwaukee. It organizes and facilitates Saturday enrichment activities, tutoring support through academic collaboration, workforce development training, athletic opportunities, and summer programs.
Additionally, Attorney James Miller is the former President of Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association (mjfla.org), and is a current loan committee Chair. MJFLA provides interest-free loans to those with temporary financial needs, promoting self-sufficiency, dignity, and a “hand-up instead of a handout”. All loans are confidential and given on a non-sectarian basis to those who meet established criteria but are unable to obtain conventional loans. Because all loans are repaid, MJFLA recycles those funds into new loans for other individuals.
Attorney Deborah Stencel volunteers for Wills for Heroes which provides free estate planning documents (wills, powers of attorney, and living wills) to first responders. Wills for Heroes was founded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks as a way for attorneys to recognize and honor the sacrifices made and risks taken by our nation’s police, fire, and emergency services providers.
Deborah also volunteers with the Volunteer Lawyers Project. VLP supports the work of Legal Action of Wisconsin in providing free legal services to Wisconsin’s low income community.
Attorney Alyssa Gemein volunteers for Marquette University Law School as a Moot Court Judge. Moot Court is an honor society comprised of law students honing their skills as litigators. They often highlight social justice issues by engaging with the legal knowledge, strategy, and litigation skills necessary to affect judicial decisions.