Sarah Bernstein is the Secretary of PILI’s Board of Directors, and serves on the Executive and Fundraising & Events Committees while also chairing the Long Range Planning Committee. She first got involved with PILI in 2008, when her firm, Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP, was starting to formalize their pro bono program. As co-chair of the firm’s pro bono committee, she joined PILI’s Program Planning Team, and a year later in 2009, she was elected to the Board.
Barack Ferrazzano’s pro bono program has grown significantly in the last several years. The firm gives attorneys and paralegals up to 100 hours per year of billable hour credit for working on pro bono. In addition, the pro bono committee, where Sarah still serves as a member, has partnered with several agencies so that, among other matters, firm attorneys and paralegals handle guardian ad litem cases through Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and immigration cases through the National Immigrant Justice Center.
While Sarah volunteers a lot of her time with PILI, she does other volunteer work as well. She does pro bono legal work for and serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors at the North Lawndale Employment Network, an organization that provides comprehensive training and job placement for residents of the North Lawndale neighborhood. Unique in its focus, this organization trains formerly incarcerated individuals by hiring them at Sweet Beginnings, which makes and sells all-natural, honey-based skin care products. Individuals who go through the program have a better chance at employment and future success.
PILI is grateful to Sarah for her leadership on our Board. “I really enjoy being on the Board with so many other attorneys committed to pro bono,” she said. “I feel good about the fact that we are making a difference for people who need pro bono services.”