Each October, Pro Bono Week shines a light on lawyers who are volunteering their time to ensure access to justice for all.
The difficult economy and rise in self-represented litigants have resulted in an increased need for pro bono services. In Illinois, lawyers and law firms have responded at remarkable levels. According to the Illinois ARDC’s 2017 Annual Report, 19,871 lawyers donated $17,858,268 to pro bono legal service organizations last year, and 32,446 lawyers performed 1,913,322 hours of pro bono legal services.
Legal organizations around the state and nation will participate in Pro Bono Week from October 22-26. The week will be filled with volunteer opportunities, CLE programs, and more to encourage lawyers to share best practices and dedicate their time to those who need legal assistance.
2018 Pro Bono Week Opportunities
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism has assembled a list of statewide Pro Bono Week opportunities that we hope you will consider.
Monday, October 22
“Voting Access Chicago” CLE – The Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
3 – 5 p.m. The Chicago Bar Association | 321 S. Plymouth Court | Chicago, IL
Tenth Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Reception – Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI)
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Caterpillar Visitors Center | 110 SW Washington St. | Peoria, IL
Tuesday, October 23
Third Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Luncheon – PILI
11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. Leclaire Room at Lewis and Clark Community College | 600 Troy Rd. | Edwardsville, IL
Illinois Forum on Pro Bono – Twentieth Judicial Circuit CLE – PILI
3 – 6 p.m. Regency Conference Center | 400 Regency Park | O’Fallon, IL
Justice: An Evening of Stories and Community – CBA
6 – 8 p.m. Revolution Brewing | 2323 N. Milwaukee Ave. | Chicago, IL
Wednesday, October 24
CCLA Child Support Clinic – Catholic Charities Legal Assistance Department (CCLA)
1:30 – 4:30 p.m. CCLA | 721 N. LaSalle St. | Chicago, IL
Sixth Judicial Circuit CLE “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Domestic Violence” – PILI, Decatur Bar Association, and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Macon County Courthouse | 253 E. Wood St. | Decatur, IL
“Addressing the Hidden Impact of Evictions” CLE – CBA
12 – 2 p.m. Ropes & Gray LLP | 191 N. Wacker Dr. | Chicago, IL
Thursday, October 25
Sixth Judicial Circuit CLE and Awards Presentation: “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Domestic Violence” – PILI
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Regent Ballroom | 1406 Regency Dr. West | Savoy, IL
“Disaster Resiliency: How Tax Attorneys Can Assist When a Disaster Strikes” CLE – American Bar Association
12 – 1 p.m. Webinar
25th Annual Pro Bono & Community Service Fair – CBA Young Lawyers Section, The Chicago Bar Foundation, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
5 – 7 p.m. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP | 155 N. Upper Wacker Dr. | Chicago, IL
Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Reception – PILI
5:30 – 8 p.m. Jumer’s Casino & Hotel | 777 Jumer Dr. | Rock Island, IL
Friday, October 26
“Breakfast with Judges” CLE – CBA
8 – 9 a.m. Holland & Knight LLP | 131 S. Dearborn | Chicago, IL
IL Free Legal Answers Open House – Illinois Legal Aid Online
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 120 S. LaSalle Ave., 9th Floor | Chicago, IL
Thursday, November 1
Eleventh Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Reception – PILI, Prairie State Legal Services, and McLean County Bar Association
5 – 7 p.m. Bell Tower Room at Epiphany Farms Restaurant | 220 E. Front St. | Bloomington, IL
Can’t make any of these programs? Thanks to a new online Pro Bono Opportunity Guide from The Chicago Bar Foundation and Paladin, it’s now easier than ever for attorneys to identify pro bono projects that fit their expertise, interest, and availability. Illinois legal aid organizations like Prairie State Legal Services, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF), and Illinois Legal Aid Online are always in need of lawyers willing and able to volunteer their time and skills.
Serve Others by Serving the Profession
One of the best ways for lawyers to give back is to become a mentor. Participants in 2Civility’s Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program provide professional guidance by building confidence in new attorneys entering the profession. Now is a great time to consider participating as many new attorneys will join the Illinois Bar at the upcoming Admission Ceremonies.