Acknowledging the vast need for legal services among Illinois’ poor and underrepresented, and recognizing the critical role that law firms and corporations play in meeting that need through pro bono legal assistance, PILI has launched a new Pro Bono Pledge for law firms and corporations across the state to honor and encourage their commitment to pro bono. The Pro Bono Pledge is being launched in individual judicial circuits in Illinois through PILI’s Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees.
The Pro Bono Pledge formally recognizes the responsibility of all members of the legal profession to increase access to our legal system. Specifically, the Pledge calls on law firms and corporate legal departments to:
- Encourage their attorneys and legal staff to provide pro bono legal services and in doing so, provide an environment which is hospitable to the rendition of such services;
- Designate a primary pro bono point of contact within the firm or corporate law department;
- Consider adopting a written pro bono policy; and
- Recognize attorneys and legal staff who participate in pro bono services, as appropriate.
The Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee launched the Pro Bono Pledge at a special event in Rock Island, IL on April 4. Mary Jones, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Deere & Company, will pledge Deere’s commitment and encourage other firms and corporations in attendance to sign on.
The Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee also formally launched the Pro Bono Pledge at their “Joined in Justice” event in Peoria, IL on April 9, where over 30 lead signatories have already pledged their commitment to pro bono. The Third, Fifth and Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees are all in various stages of planning and launching the Pro Bono Pledge as well.
PILI applauds the efforts of these law firm and corporate attorneys across the state to expand access to justice for Illinois’ neediest and most vulnerable.
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