News Tag: Pro Bono


August 6, 2018

A Pro Bono Checklist for Success

A good pro bono program takes work to develop, maintain, and improve. It requires a lot of planning to ensure it meets the needs of the client population, fills a gap in existing resources, and incorporates feedback from all stakeholders. It should have clear criteria for screening cases and a plan for periodic review and adjustment to reflect changes in the community, the law, or the courts.

If that sounds like a lot to think about, that’s because it is. Fortunately, the CBF has created a tool to help organizations looking to establish new pro bono programs to think through these and the many other issues that are critical to designing and implementing a successful program.

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July 19, 2018

Connecting Lawyers to Pro Bono Through the Years

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.

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May 9, 2018

New JEP Attorneys Begin Program, Pro Bono Residencies

The CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project is excited to welcome the eleventh cohort of innovative and entrepreneurial attorneys into its growing network. Over the next eighteen months, these eight outstanding attorneys will build law practices focused on meeting the needs of the underserved middle market for legal services—a client base that generally earns too much income […]

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March 14, 2018

Mental Health Pro Bono Program

Each year, nearly one in five Americans will experience a mental health concern and countless more will watch a loved one struggle with mental illness. In Cook County alone, 200,000 residents will experience a severe mental health episode each year. When mental illness strikes, friends and family often struggle to understand the available medical, legal, and supportive services; how they intersect; and how they can be accessed on behalf of a loved one.

The Mental Health Pro Bono Pilot Program will provide much-needed assistance to families struggling to get legal help for their loves ones during and after a severe mental health episode. As a pro bono volunteer, you will work directly with families, offering them vitally important information about their legal options ranging from guardianship to involuntary inpatient commitment.

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February 14, 2018

Breaking Poverty Barriers To Equal Justice

Join the CBA’s Legal Aid Committee on Tuesday, March 6th at 3pm for a multimedia, interactive video and panel CLE presentation designed to help legal professionals better understand the life circumstances and day-to-day challenges of their clients who are experiencing poverty. Expert panelists will provide practical strategies to help legal professionals communicate more effectively with their clients and improve client services and case outcomes. Attendees will receive 2.75 PR-CLE credits.

Register/Learn More

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November 17, 2017

Serving as the Court’s Eyes and Ears to Protect the Vulnerable: CVLS’ Guardian ad Litem Program

Ajay Sundar, an associate at Skadden Arps, wanted to put his legal skills to help others, and he volunteered to do just that through the CVLS Guardian ad Litem for Minors Program.

As Ajay recently recounted, CVLS quickly assigned him a pro bono case involving an eight-year-old named Ley’gacy, who was living with her grandmother. Her grandmother had guardianship because Ley’gacy’s mother was unable to care for her, but her mother—who had a history of mental illness and instability–was now seeking to assert her parental rights. Then, one day, Ley’gacy disappeared from her grandmother’s home. She had been kidnapped by her mother.

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November 9, 2017

New Edition of Premier Resource for Pro Bono Opportunities in the Chicago Area Now Available

The CBF recently released an updated version of our popular Pro Bono Opportunities Guide, a comprehensive resource designed to help attorneys find and connect with pro bono opportunities particularly suited to their interests, skills and schedules. The Guide identifies opportunities by legal subject area (e.g., adoption, eviction); type of representation (e.g., litigation, transactional); client group (e.g., children, elderly); time commitment and availability; and also by organization.

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October 17, 2017

Highlights from the ABA Pro Bono Survey in Illinois

In early 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice—in partnership with the CBF, the Illinois Bar Foundation, and the Public Interest Law Initiative—released a statewide survey to hear directly from attorneys about their experiences with pro bono. The Pro Bono Survey Project is part of a national effort spearheaded by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service to study broader pro bono trends across the country.

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October 16, 2017

A Ticket to a Successful and Fulfilling Legal Career

In the toolbox of strategies for making your legal career an accomplished and fulfilling one, there is one tool that is often overlooked and almost always underrated: pro bono. While pro bono should be an integral part of your practice for many fundamental reasons, an added bonus is that it also helps ensure long term success and satisfaction in your career.

So how can doing pro bono work help you advance your career and find fulfillment in our fast changing profession?

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October 12, 2017

The 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.

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