Tenth Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Reception

About the Event

The Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will host this event to commemorate Pro Bono Week, recognize the efforts of local pro bono volunteers and celebrate recipients of pro bono service awards. Advance registration is required using the form below.

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At this event, we will present the Tenth Judicial Circuit Joseph A. Dailing Pro Bono Service Award to one or more lawyers practicing in the Tenth Judicial Circuit who have provided outstanding pro bono services to low-income individuals and charitable organizations in the last year. Prairie State Legal Services, the Peoria County Bar Association and the Tazewell County Bar Association will also present their pro bino awards at this event.

We are thrilled to announce that Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lisa Holder White will be our special guest speaker.


Tamara (Tami) Meister is a partner at Butler Giraudo & Meister where she focuses her practice on complex financial matters and custody disputes. Tami is an active member in her community, often encouraging and recruiting peers to do pro bono work as a member of the Tenth Circuit Judicial Pro Bono Committee. She uses her experience in family law to address a large area of need. She quickly took the initiative of helping start up a pro bono divorce clinic through the Committee’s legal aid partners and went above and beyond to bring each case to a successful conclusion. In addition to taking on matters, Tami established a model for the clinic that is being adopted by other law firms and attorneys. Tami also volunteers for the PILI Self-Represented Litigant Help Desks in Peoria and Tazewell Counties as well as helping those with family law questions through Illinois Free Legal Answers. Her attention to detail, preparation and knowledge of pertinent case law ensure that her clients receive the answers and assistance they need, and she is a model for pro bono in the community.


The following honorees have provided outstanding pro bono services to low-income individuals or charitable organizations in the last year.

  • Peoria County Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year: Austin Nichols, Black, Black & Brown
  • Peoria County Bar Association Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year: Cynthia Volk, Cynthia S. Volk Law
  • Peoria County Bar Association Law Firm of the Year: Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C.
  • Tazewell County Bar Association Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year: Katherine Smith-Thornton, Law Office of
    Katherine B. Smith-Thornton
  • Prairie State Legal Services Joined in Justice Award: Sandy Crow, Pro Bono Volunteer
  • Prairie State Legal Services Equal Access to Justice Award: Ken Davies, Heyl Royster Voelker & Allen, P.C.

Prior Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee Award Recipients:

  • Louis P. Milot (2022)
  • Kerrianne Waters (2021)
  • Michael Fleming (2020)
  • G. Edward Murphy (2019)
  • Abigail Fleming (2018)
  • Sumner Bourne (2017)
  • Jeff Krumpe (2016)
  • Spencer L. Daniels (2015)


    The Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee has decided to name its annual Pro Bono Service Award after Joseph A. Dailing who passed away in 2022, leaving behind an incredible legacy of advocating for access to justice for all. Joe was the founding Executive Director of Prairie State Legal Services. Under Joe’s leadership, Prairie State grew to serve 30 counties, served tens of thousands of people in need and addressed inequities in how government agencies treated people who relied upon services. Joe retired from Prairie State Legal Services in 2006 but continued his work in advocating for access to justice. He became the first Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, an access to justice entity created by the Illinois State Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. In this role he led Illinois efforts to open 98 legal self-help centers throughout the state. Joe continued his work promoting access to justice nationally and internationally. He traveled to the Republic of Georgia to assist the country’s Department of Justice in creating a legal aid system. He also consulted nationally to help improve a number of other legal aid programs. In 2017, Joe developed and implemented a leadership training program for PSLS staff to help the organization build future leaders. We are thrilled to honor Joe’s legacy with this special recognition.

    If you have any questions, please reach out to Jessica Schneider by email or at 312-832-5125.

    View all of PILI’s Pro Bono Week 2023 Events »


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