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
- 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
Join the fun and participate in National Celebrate Pro Bono Week events throughout Illinois!, by Michele Miller, Illinois Lawyer Now (10-20-14)
Peoria's Muir a shining example for McAndrews Award, by Michael T. O'Connor, Illinois Lawyer Now (10-7-14)
- Veterans Legal Corps Serves Illinois Veterans, by Emily Vock and Eric Bulman, Illinois Lawyer Now (12-3-13)
- Spotlight on pro bono: Pro bono services for veterans, by Judge Barb Crowder, Illinois Lawyer Now (11-5-13)
- National Pro Bono Week - Illinois attorneys celebrate and promote pro bono opportunities, by Michele Miller, Illinois Lawyer Now (10-16-13)
- Spotlight on pro bono: Older adults need legal help, by Grant Nyhammer, Illinois Lawyer Now (9-30-13)
- Spotlight on Pro bono: Nikki Carrion and her work with CLAIM, by Sandra Crawford, Illinois Lawyer Now (8-14-13)
- ISBA honors John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award recipients, by Wendy Vaughn, Illinois Lawyer Now (7-15-13)
- Bernard H. Shapiro awarded Joseph R. Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award, by Wendy Vaughn, Illinois Lawyer Now (6-27-13)
- Lawyers Helping People in Need, by Ramona M. Sullivan, February 2013
- What's in a Name, by Michael G. Bergmann, January 2013
- Collaborative Law – A New Take on the Delivery of Legal Services, by Sandra Crawford, December 2012
- Profiles in Pro Bono Excellence: Where are they now, by Mara Block, November 2012
- Lawyers Feeding Illinois, by Ramona M. Sullivan, October 2012
- Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission Begins Work to Improve Access to Justice in Illinois, by Joseph A. Dailing, September 2012
- For the Public Good: A Program to Get High School Students Involved in the Legal System, by Hon. Barbara Crowder, August 2012
- Call for Nominations for the Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award, by Deborah Glaser Chagal, December 2011
- Pro Bono Proud: Celebrate National Pro Bono Week, by Hon. Barbara Crowder, October 2011
- Joseph R. Bartylak Awards, by Lois Wood, August 2011
- Lawyers Find Personal Satisfaction by Helping with Pro Bono Matters, by Michael T. O'Connor, June 2011
Forming Partnerships and Improving Lives, by Ramona Sullivan, April 2011
When Disaster Strikes, Illinois Residents Will Be Ready, by Julie K. Katz, January 2011
Lawyers Throughout Illinois Are Making Plans to Celebrate National Pro Bono Week, by Ramona Sullivan, September 2010
NLADA tribute to Joe Bartylak, August 2010
PILI and ILAO Launch Pro Bono Case Pairing and Mentor Matching System by Michael G. Bergmann, July 2010
Looking for a Pro Bono Mentor? Seeking Help with a Pro Bono Case? by Lisa Colpoys, June 2010
- Immigration and Pro Bono, by Deborah Glaser Chagal, May 2010
- National Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month, by Ramona M. Sullivan, February 2010
- Volunteering with Legal Aid Can Be a Mutually Beneficial Experience, by Ramona M. Sullivan, November 2009
- Pro Bono in Principle and Practice, by Mike Fiello, October 2009
- Website Offers Resources for Specific Types of Pro Bono Attorneys, by Lisa Colpoys, September 2009
- More Pro Bono Lawyers Needed than Ever Before, by Michael G. Bergmann, Bar News June 2009
- Hotline Speed Pro Bono Aid to the Poor, by Richard D. Chase, Bar News, May 2009
- Senior Lawyers Can Stay Active in Pro Bono Service, by Edward J. Cunningham, Bar News, April 2009
- Loan Forgiveness Would Encourage Public Service Careers, by E. Nicole Carrion, Bar News,March 2009
- Veterans Deserve Legal Assists, by Peter C. Alexander, Bar News, February 2009