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Celebrate Pro Bono - October 24-28

Celebrate Pro Bono Week October 24-28 with various programs and events across the state.

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. Last year, 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.

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 are being organized by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) through Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees that it has organized around the state, and are in partnership with Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation or Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.

Wednesday, October 19th, 11:45 am – Eleventh Judicial Circuit CLE: Conflicted by Conflicts

Livingston County Jury Assembly Room, 110 North Main Street in Pontiac

This CLE will make clear the rules regarding conflicts of interest, an important issues for pro bono volunteers assisting low‐income individuals with civil legal problems. Marisa Wiesman the Director of Volunteer Services at Prairie State Legal Services will be the speaker.

Thursday, October 20th, 5:30 pm – Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Reception

Oakwood Country Club, 1067 U.S. Highway 6 in Coal Valley

The Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will host a reception in conjunction with the Rock Island County Bar Association. Signatories of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Pledge and attorneys who have handled pro bono matters through Prairie State Legal Services will be recognized at the event.

Monday, October 24th, 5:30 pm – Tenth Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Reception

Caterpillar Visitors Center, 110 SW Washington Street in Peoria

The Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize the efforts of its Pro Bono Pledge Signatories and Pro Bono Service Award Recipients to expand and enhance access to justice in the Tenth Judicial Circuit. Honorable Thomas L. Kilbride of the Illinois Supreme Court will be the special guest speaker.

Tuesday, October 25th, 12:00 pm – Third Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Luncheon

Leclaire Room at Lewis and Clark Community College, 600 Troy Road in Edwardsville

The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize the efforts its Pro Bono Pledge Signatories and Pro Bono Service Award Recipients to expand and enhance access to justice in the Third Judicial Circuit. Honorable Lloyd A. Karmeier, Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court will be the special guest speaker.

Wednesday, October 26th, 12:00 pm – Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Week CLE in Decatur

Jury Assembly Room, Macon County Courthouse, 253 East Wood Street in Decatur

The Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is presenting a complimentary CLE in Decatur on advising clients wills and advance directives. James Jankowicz of Record & Jankowicz will be the speaker. The Committee will also present its Community Legal Services Award.

Thursday, October 27th, 12:00 pm – Sixth Judicial Circuit CLE Program & Awards Presentation

Regent Ballroom, 1406 Regency Drive West in Savoy

The Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is presenting a complimentary CLE in Decatur on advising clients wills and advance directives. Deborah Feinen of Tummelson Bryan & Knox and John Lafond of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation will be the speakers. The Committee will also present its Community Legal Services Award.

Saturday, October 29th, 9:00 am – Eleventh Judicial Circuit Legal Advice Fair

Mid Central Community Action, 1301 West Washington Street in Bloomington

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is co-sponsoring this Legal Advice Fair in Bloomington, where attorneys will volunteer to give one-time legal advice concerning family issues, housing disputes, debt concerns and more.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 5:30 pm – Fifth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Celebration Dinner

Danville Country Club, 2718 Denmark Road in Danville

The Fifth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize the efforts of its Pro Bono Pledge Signatories and Pro Bono Service Award Recipients to expand and enhance access to justice in the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Dean Vikram Amar of the University of Illinois College of Law will be the special guest speaker.

Visit www.pili.org to learn more about any of these events or PILI’s Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees. Information about the Illinois Pro Bono Pledge, which has been launched in five of these Judicial Circuits and has over 120 signatories statewide, can be found at www.ILProBonoPledge.org

The ISBA Delivery of Legal Services Committee is also planning a daylong CLE program in Chicago on Thursday, October 13th entitled “Limited Scope Representation: When Less is More.” PILI is co-sponsoring this program along with the Illinois Bar Foundation. More information about this program is available at www.isba.org/cle/upcoming.

Michael G. Bergmann is the Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). He is also a member of the ISBA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, the Bench and Bar Section Council, and the Assembly.

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Morgan Yingst
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