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Spotlight on Pro Bono: Pro Bono Assistance for Illinois Veterans, Active Duty Military

The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN) provides civil legal services across Illinois to veterans, active duty military, spouses, and dependents. In Illinois, there are approximately 750,000 veterans, 20,000 active service members, and 13,000 members of the Illinois National Guard. There are over 20,000 dependents of service members who were deployed between Sept. 11, 2001, and May 31, 2015. The top civil legal needs of this population include housing, family, and consumer law issues, as well as assistance with VA benefits and appeals, and discharge upgrades.

A statewide hotline provides legal information, advice, brief services, and referrals to local legal aid offices and law school clinics. An important piece of this network is pro bono attorneys. In the first year of IL-AFLAN, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) provided that connection and those referrals for the Cook County population. Now in its second year, IL-AFLAN has another pro bono partner – the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). For the 101 counties in Illinois outside of Cook, PILI will be responsible for accepting referrals from IL-AFLAN and placing them with pro bono attorneys. PILI will be recruiting volunteer attorneys, providing training and support, and offering malpractice coverage for their pro bono referrals.

To volunteer in Cook County, contact Margaret Benson with CVLS at mcb@cvls.org or 312-332-5542. To volunteer outside of Cook County, register online. You can also contact Michael Bergmann with PILI at mbergmann@pili.org or 312-832-5129.

Posted on July 30, 2018 by Rhys Saunders
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