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Delivery of Legal Services

Nominate Someone Who Makes A Difference Through Pro Bono and Volunteer Services

Posted on February 2, 2018 by Sara Anderson

In Illinois – and across the country – the demand for legal services for low-income individuals and families far exceeds the supply. But individual attorneys, legal aid organizations, law firms, corporate law departments, and bar associations across the state are working to close the gap or mitigate its effects through pro bono and volunteer service.  

CLE: Working Effectively with Interpreters – Live Webcast

Posted on October 3, 2017 by Sara Anderson

This program is available at no cost for the first 26 registrants who agree to take a pro bono case in the next year. Thank you to our sponsors for making this opportunity possible! 

     ♦  Illinois Bar Foundation
     ♦  Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI)
     ♦  Law Crawford P.C.

Learn how to identify internal barriers (within yourself and your law firm) that hinder communication with non-English speaking clients and how to overcome these barriers with this short online seminar on October 11, 2017. Attorneys with all levels of practice experience who work with a diverse client base who attend this seminar will better understand: what the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts is doing to help non-English speaking people gain better access to interpreters; the statewide Interpreter Registry; the pitfalls to avoid when working with interpreters; how and why you should take advantage of the pro bono opportunities in your community; and the resources available to attorneys willing to volunteer.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services. It qualifies for 1.50 hours MCLE credit, including 1.50 hours Professionalism, Civility or Legal Ethics Professional Responsibility MCLE (subject to approval).

Spotlight on pro bono: Visit an elder during the holidays

Posted on December 13, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

By Susan L. DeCostanza | Director, Guardian ad litem for Adults Program

You may not have realized that you can visit an elder in your community and log pro bono hours at the same time, but you can. And the need for both is great! In Cook County, when a petition for guardianship of an adult is filed, the court will appoint a Guardian ad litem to complete an investigation in all cases in which the Respondent will not appear in court. The Guardian ad litem visits the Respondent at his or her residence, interviews the Respondent and ultimately reports back to the court regarding the results of the GAL investigation.

Spotlight on pro bono: Legal Answers

Posted on November 1, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

By Teri Ross, Program Director / Attorney, Illinois Legal Aid Online

Every year, tens of thousands of people in Illinois are forced to resolve their legal issues unassisted. On the one hand, they are unable to afford private legal counsel; on the other hand, they are unable to get help from the overburdened, underfunded legal aid system.

Pro bono is an important solution to this problem. October was national pro bono month, focused on recognizing the impactful contributions of pro bono attorneys and engaging more attorneys to help. Although there are more than 90,000 attorneys registered in Illinois, studies show that 60% or more of lower-income Illinoisans are forced to resolve their legal problems alone. Why the gap? Pro bono opportunities are limited by when, where, what and how they operate:

Attend the Delivery of Legal Services Committee’s free CLE on October 13

Posted on September 13, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

By Marisa Wiesman, Director of Volunteer Services, Prairie State Legal Services

Are you looking for something to do on October 13? I thought so. The ISBA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services is pleased to invite you to its annual CLE in honor of Celebrate Pro Bono Week. This year’s CLE, Limited Scope Representation: When Less is More, will be held on October 13, 2016 from 12:50 pm - 4:45 pm. Participants may attend in person at the ISBA regional office in Chicago or via live webinar from the comfort of your desk. Registration is free to attorneys who agree to accept one pro bono matter in the next year.

Spotlight on pro bono

Posted on August 24, 2016 by Chris Bonjean


By Hon. Barbara Crowder, Judge, Third Judicial Circuit

When the Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756(f) was first amended to require lawyers to report any pro bono services intentionally provided and voluntary monetary donations to legal service providers, one would have thought it was a menacing Robert DeNiro asking for the information based upon the hue and cry raised by some attorneys. Lawyers were reminded that the primary goal was to address the unmet legal needs of those residents with limited income. Reporting pro bono hours is viewed as a way to increase the delivery of legal services provided directly to persons of limited means. Although the rule also asks about efforts that assist local communities and organizations along with time spent training others and any monetary contributions, the goal of the mandatory reporting requirement was proclaimed as a way to help lawyers remember to do pro bono directly. The comments suggest that those who are prohibited from providing direct services should donate money and their time to help train volunteer attorneys. Since the ARDC has issued the Annual Report of 2015, it seems an appropriate time to see how the lawyers of Illinois are doing.

ISBA committee work provides inspiration to do more

Posted on June 1, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Karen MunozBy Karen Munoz, ISBA Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services

I am wrapping up my first year as a member for the Delivery of Legal services committee. Over the last year I have been exposed to some incredible lawyers and organizations throughout the state that do what they can each day to level the playing field of justice.

I have barely begun to scratch the surface of how important these organizations are in our society. I have been an attorney in the private sector for my entire career. Despite volunteering for different bar associations, this is really my first exposure to the provision of legal services to the indigent and it truly has been eye-opening.

Even though the work that I do is in many ways relatable (the client pays nothing up front in most cases, thus allowing access to a lawyer not ordinarily found in most areas of law), it does not compare to the needs I have witnessed over the last 12 months. I also have recognized that as our haves and have nots have drifted further and further apart, the need has only deepened.

Without many of these organizations operating at low to no cost in our state, many people would be left with absolutely no legal recourse. Obtaining these services can sometimes be the difference between becoming homeless, bankrupt, or worse in continuing physical danger.

It’s Time to Celebrate Pro Bono!

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Morgan Yingst

National Celebration of Pro Bono is October 26-30, 2015

By Michael G. Bergmann, ISBA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Initiative 

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.

Updated Disaster Legal Services Manual now available

Posted on January 15, 2014 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois State Bar Association's Delivery of Legal Services’ Committee has updated its Disaster Legal Services Manual and the newest version is now available at