On October 22, 2020, the inaugural meeting of the First Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will be held. With the launch of this committee, PILI now has nine such committees across the state of Illinois. The First Judicial Circuit is in the Fifth Appellate District and includes Alexander, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union and Williamson Counties.
The First Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is a group, comprised of lawyers and judges, that strives to enhance equal access to justice by encouraging and promoting pro bono work in the First Judicial Circuit. The Honorable Michael A. Fiello, Associate Judge of the First Judicial Circuit, will serve as the committee’s chair and he will be joined by twelve judges and lawyers from the Circuit, including representatives from Land of Lincoln Legal Aid and Southern Illinois University Law School.
“We are thrilled to add the First Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee to our work across the state,” said PILI Executive Director Michael G. Bergmann. Funding from the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois made possible this new committee. PILI partnered with many of the attorneys and groups represented on the committee to host a first-ever Pro Bono Week event in the First Circuit in 2019.
Judge Fiello had this to say about the new committee, “I am honored to be the chair of the First Circuit Pro Bono Committee. Pro bono is an essential piece in the continuing effort to insure access to justice for all. I am confident that this partnership of PILI, Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, judges, lawyers and others serving the public will be successful in reaching the goal of increasing the availability of free legal assistance to those in need.”