We all know that pro bono service is a vital part of the practice of law. It’s easy to see the many benefits of pro bono to the client, the profession, the court, and the volunteer. It can be challenging, however, to know where to start.
Understanding how busy lawyers can be, the CBF works to remove barriers to doing pro bono and connect lawyers to the many great opportunities to get involved. Since 1992, the CBF has worked with dozens of pro bono and legal aid organizations to create a comprehensive resource that helps prospective volunteers understand the pro bono landscape and connect with volunteer opportunities. The Guide to Volunteer Opportunities for Pro Bono Attorneys in the Chicago Area sorts pro bono opportunities by area of law, population served, partner organization, and type of activity, making it easier than ever to quickly identify opportunities that are a good fit.
The Guide serves as the definitive list of pro bono opportunities in the Chicago area and has come a long way over time, continuing to evolve to meet the needs of the legal community. For example, responding to a surge in corporate volunteer interest, the Guide now includes a one page pullout highlighting opportunities that are particularly well suited to in-house counsel. Understanding that time and geographic limitations can be real barriers to pro bono service, the Guide now also highlights opportunities that can be done remotely, or in short periods of time. By making this information transparent and easily accessible, it is much easier for any lawyer in the Chicago area to get involved.
Looking to the future, the Guide is still evolving to meet the needs of the legal community and to take advantage of improvements in technology. Stay tuned for the next iteration of the Guide, coming online later this year!