Increasing access to justice in the Land of Lincoln is top of mind for many Illinois lawyers and legal organizations. Our state provides a number of resources to those in need of legal assistance through pro bono and legal aid services.
In fact, according to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission’s most recent annual report, 31,362 lawyers performed 2,055,987 hours of pro bono legal services and 17,565 lawyers made $14,802,544 in monetary contributions to pro bono legal services organizations. Impressive, right?
Aside from two of the key players we’ve discussed recently here at the Commission (CARPLS and Illinois Legal Aid Online) the Public Interest Initiative (PILI) has also been taking charge on the mission to decrease the access to justice gap here in Illinois.
This year, PILI has hosted a number of forums and meetings across the state for its 2016 Pro Bono Roundtable Series. The goal of both the pro bono forums and the roundtable meetings are for lawyers to discuss challenges, goals, and best practices when providing effective, accessible, and affordable legal services.
Thus far, PILI has hosted four forums in Chicago, solely targeting law schools, law firms, legal service agencies, and corporations to gather their feedback on how they each provide pro bono services to Illinois residents. In addition to this, PILI also has hosted two forums open to all lawyers and legal professionals to address the pro bono issues they face and goals they have for the future of the profession.
PILI has one more forum in the works on September 8th in Monticello, Illinois, before its official Illinois Forum on Pro Bono scheduled for September 21, 2016 at the Chicago Bar Association office located on 821 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago, Illinois.
The statewide pro bono program will share all of the feedback and insight from each of the roundtable meetings and local forums held this year across the state. The forum will feature both a panel discussion and a breakout session to discuss how Illinois lawyers can implement more effective strategies for providing more accessible legal services.
The forum will begin at 2:45pm with a reception following at 5pm. Those in attendance will receive 2.0 hours of MCLE Professional Responsibility credit in Illinois.
Registration is currently open, but will close on September 19th – so don’t delay. For more information regarding the Illinois Pro Bono Forum, please contact Ocie Davis by email or by phone at 312-832-5127.