Public Interest Law Initiative

Forum on Pro Bono Looks at ABA Study on Pro Bono

Posted on: December 6, 2017

On October 3, 2017, PILI held its Illinois Forum on Pro Bono at The Chicago Bar Association with over 70 people in attendance. The Illinois Forum on Pro Bono is held annually and brings together a cross-section of pro bono stakeholders to discuss the ideas and strategies to expand and enhance pro bono in Illinois. This year’s Forum was co-sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Foundation, the Illinois Bar Foundation and the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice.

The presentation at this year’s Forum focused on the results from a study on pro bono conducted in 24 states, including Illinois, by the American Bar Association over the past year. April Faith-Slaker who oversaw the survey while with the American Bar Association Center on Pro Bono presented about the findings from the survey. April is now the Associate Director of Research Innovations at the Harvard Law School Access to Justice Lab.

Nearly 6000 attorneys in every judicial circuit, county, and practice setting in the state responded to the survey. Below is a snapshot of what we learned.

Pro Bono Attorneys in Illinois at a Glance:

  • 84% had individuals as clients
  • 40% had organizations as clients
  • 66% did a limited scope pro bono case
  • 33% appeared in court on a pro bono case
  • 70% found the pro bono time commitment matched their expectations
  • 89% found the pro bono case complexity matched their expectations
  • The #1 reason that attorneys in Illinois do pro bono is to help those in need.

Click here to see the PowerPoint presentation from the Forum on Pro Bono »

Following the presentation, there were small group discussions to further consider the results from the survey and how we can better promote, enhance and expand pro bono in Illinois. See the roundtable discussion notes from the Forum on Pro Bono »

For more information about this program or PILI’s efforts to expand and enhance pro bono in Illinois, contact PILI’s Executive Director Michael Bergmann at 312-832-5129 or by email.

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