Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Reporting Rule and You

All Illinois lawyers can expect to receive their annual ARDC registration statements this month, which again will include questions about their pro bono work and related financial contributions over the past year pursuant to the pro bono reporting requirement adopted by the Supreme Court in 2006. If you haven’t taken a pro bono case or made a financial contribution yet this year, it’s not too late. There’s still time for you to get involved and contribute before you complete your registration, and below are some resources to help you do that.

As the Comments to the amended Rule 756(f) of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules underscore, the pro bono reporting requirement is intended to serve as an annual reminder to Illinois lawyers that pro bono legal service is an integral part of a lawyer’s professionalism. Rule 756(f) requires all attorneys licensed in Illinois to report, in connection with the attorney’s annual ARDC registration, pro bono legal services provided and qualified monetary contributions made during the preceding 12 months.

Pro Bono Resources

The CBF is your source for lawyers who want to do pro bono work but aren’t sure where to start. Check out the CBF’s pro bono resources.

Qualifying Financial Contributions under the Rule

Providing your financial support for local legal aid organizations is just as important an investment as donating your time, as lawyers depend on good legal aid organizations to be their partners in pro bono work. Legal aid organizations provide the necessary infrastructure to support pro bono work for area lawyers and law firms (i.e., pro bono programs with solid screening, referral, training and support functions for volunteers). Legal aid programs also provide critical legal assistance to the most vulnerable members of our community in matters where pro bono is not a practical solution.

Lawyers can make qualifying contributions under the Rule to the CBF, which supports all of the major pro bono and legal aid organizations serving the Chicago area, and by contributing directly to one of these many outstanding organizations. Check out the CBF website, chicagobarfoundation.org, for more information.

Additional Questions about the Rule

The CBF is here to help you with other questions about the Rule as well. Feel free to contact Kelly Tautges, CBF Director of Pro Bono and Court Advocacy, at 312-554-8356 or ktautges@chicagobar.org.