About the ISBA

Pro Bono Opportunities and Information for Lawyers

Welcome to the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services webpage on Pro Bono Opportunities and Information for Lawyers. This page will inform members of pro bono opportunities available to Illinois lawyers through various legal service providers. It also contains stories about pro bono opportunities and the experiences other lawyers have had participating in pro bono. The Illinois State Bar Association encourages lawyers to participate in pro bono activities and give back to their communities.

National Pro Bono Week

Become a Pro Bono Partner

The 2014 National Pro Bono Celebration Week is October 19-25.

In 2013, the ARDC reports that 30,751 lawyers in Illinois provided pro bono legal services by providing more than 2,098,472 hours of free legal services and 16,266 Illinois lawyers also donated over $14 million dollars to help fund additional legal services. Although it is apparent there is widespread dedication among Illinois lawyers to pro bono causes, there is still an unmet need for more legal assistance.

In an effort to promote and expand awareness of this need for increased pro bono efforts, please consider some of the activities suggested by the ISBA Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Service, including writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper highlighting the good works of local lawyers, asking that a proclamation be adopted in your community, or other activities to promote this event and recognize the efforts of current pro bono volunteers. Below is a sample letter and a proclamation you can download and use.

Just for Fun

Legal Trivia for National Pro Bono Week

More information on National Pro Bono Week

Awards

  • John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award
    The award is named in memory of Rock Island attorney John McAndrews, who chaired the ISBA Committee on Delivery of Legal Services and is awarded to individual lawyers, law firms and corporate law departments, and bar associations.
  • The Joseph R. Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award
    This award is named in memory of legal services attorney Joseph R. Bartylak to annually honor his extraordinary commitment and dedication to civil legal services and his outstanding service to Illinois’ vulnerable and low-income population.

Find the Pro Bono Program that is Right for You

  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation - acts as a general practice law firm for the poor with the help of volunteer attorneys.
  • Illinois Pro Bono.org - a statewide website that provides training and practice support for volunteer attorneys, as well as a search tool for finding specific pro bono opportunities. Special home pages have been created for certain types of volunteers:
  • Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation - a legal service provider focusing on civil legal services for low-income individuals and senior citizens. Serves 65 counties in central southern Illinois.
  • LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation) - a legal service provider focusing on civil legal service for low-income individuals and senior citizens in Chicago and Suburban Cook County.
  • Prairie State Legal Services - a legal service provider focusing on civil legal services for low-income individuals and senior citizens. Serves 38 counties in central and northern Illinois.
  • Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) -

    an agency which works to cultivates a lifelong commitment to public interest law and pro bono service within the Illinois legal community to expand the availability of legal services for people, families and communities in need.

    Learn about the Illinois Supreme Court Rules on Pro Bono

    How much Illinois Attorneys Contribute to Pro Bono Legal Services Already

    Despite a still sluggish economy, the percentage of lawyers making monetary contributions to support legal services for the poor increased slightly to 18%, as compared to 17.4% of lawyers who contributed in 2011. Almost $16 million was donated to fund legal services to the poor in 2012. In addition $42 of every annual registration fee last year was used to fund legal services in this state. Since 2003, the first year that the ARDC began collecting the funds, more than $26 million has been remitted to the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois. Finally, over 30,000 lawyers provided pro bono legal services in 2012, totaling 2,142,527 hours of legal aid.
    Source: ARDC 2012 Annual Report.

     

    Learn more about the Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services

 

Spotlight on Pro Bono

Informative and uplifting articles on pro bono opportunities and experiences