Spotlight on Pro Bono: Celebrate Pro Bono Week October 21-27
By Michael G. Bergmann
Coordinated by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, Pro Bono Week is intended to inspire even greater pro bono participation by lawyers throughout the nation. This initiative provides an opportunity for legal organizations across the country to collaboratively commemorate the vitally important contributions of America’s lawyers and to recruit and train the many additional volunteers required to meet the growing demand. The Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service undertook this initiative to provide a format for showcasing the incredible difference that pro bono lawyers make to our nation, to our system of justice, to our communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve. For more information, visit www.celebrateprobono.org.
The ISBA has commemorated this national celebration each year by encouraging its members to do pro bono and by recognizing those who meet the call. Three years ago, the ISBA launched its Pro Bono Partner initiative, through which members commit to: (1) seek out the local pro bono legal services being supplied to individuals or charitable, religious, or civic organizations in their community; (2) attend or support a recognition ceremony for those who participate in pro bono services in their community; (3) consider attending training provided to lawyers who provide pro bono services; and (4) commit to joining the efforts to increase access to the legal system. You can learn more about this initiative at www.isba.org/probono/partner.
The ISBA Delivery of Legal Services Committee has also partnered with Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) on a live webinar CLE program entitled “Pro Bono: The Power of Volunteering.” The program will be on October 17 at noon CST and participants will receive 1.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit for this program. The session will feature an exciting bite-sized pro bono opportunity available through ILAO called Legal Answers. More information about this program is available at www.isba.org/cle/upcoming.
There are also a lot of great programs and events happening around the state during this year’s celebration of Pro Bono Week. Many of these events, a good number of which are complimentary, are being organized by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) through its Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees in partnership with Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Prairie State Legal Services, Inc., other local organizations and local bar associations.
Wednesday, October 17
- Fifth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Celebration Dinner
5:30 p.m. at the Danville Country Club, 2718 Denmark Road in Danville
The Fifth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize the efforts of Pro Bono Pledge Signatories and Pro Bono Service Award Recipients to expand and enhance access to justice in the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman will be the special guest speaker.
Monday, October 22
- Eighteenth Judicial Circuit CLE – Limited Scope Representation: A New Tool in Your Lawyer Toolkit
11: 45 a.m. at the DuPage Judicial Center, 505 North County Farm Road in Wheaton
The Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is joining the DuPage County Bar Association for this session that will provide the background on limited scope representation and how limited scope representation can be used in both their private and pro bono practice to ensure greater access to justice for all.
- Tenth Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Reception
5:30 p.m. at the Caterpillar Visitors Center, 110 SW Washington Street in Peoria
The Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize the efforts of Pro Bono Pledge Signatories and Pro Bono Service Award Recipients to expand and enhance access to justice in the Tenth Judicial Circuit. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride will be the special guest speaker.
Tuesday, October 23
- Third Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Luncheon
11:45 a.m. at the Leclaire Room at Lewis and Clark Community College, 600 Troy Road in Edwardsville
The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize the efforts of Pro Bono Pledge Signatories and Pro Bono Service Award Recipients to expand and enhance access to justice in the Third Judicial Circuit. The Honorable Julie Katz, Chair of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, and the Honorable Lloyd A. Karmeier, Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, will be the special guest speakers.
- Twentieth Judicial Circuit Forum on Pro Bono
3:00 p.m. at the Regency Conference Center, 400 Regency Park in O'Fallon
At the Illinois Forum on Pro Bono, the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will bring together a cross-section of pro bono stakeholders from the legal community to discuss timely pro bono issues and share pro bono best practices.
Wednesday, October 24
- Sixth Judicial Circuit CLE Program – Macon County
11:30 a.m. at the Macon County Courthouse, 253 East Wood Street in Decatur
The Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is presenting a complimentary CLE on “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Domestic Violence.”
Thursday, October 25
- Sixth Judicial Circuit CLE Program & Awards Presentation – Champaign County
11:30 a.m. at the Regent Ballroom, 1406 Regency Drive West in Savoy
The Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is presenting a complimentary CLE on “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Domestic Violence” and will also present its Community Legal Services Award to one or more lawyers practicing in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.
- Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Reception
5:30 p.m., Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, 777 Jumer Drive in Rock Island
The Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will join the Rock Island County Bar Association to commemorate Pro Bono Week and recognize the efforts of pro bono volunteers to expand and enhance access to justice in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride will be the special guest speaker.
Saturday, October 27
- Eleventh Judicial Circuit Legal Advice Fair
8:45 a.m. at the Mid Central Community Action, 1301 West Washington Street in Bloomington
The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is once again co-sponsoring a Legal Advice Fair in Bloomington, where volunteer attorneys were available to give one-time legal advice concerning family issues, housing disputes, debt concerns and more.
Thursday, November 1
- Eleventh Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Reception
5:00 p.m. at the Bell Tower Room at Epiphany Farms Restaurant, 220 East Front Street in Bloomington
The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will host a reception to recognize the efforts of local pro bono volunteers.
Visit www.pili.org/ pro-bono-week to learn more about any of these events or PILI’s Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees.