Peoria law firm Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White & Frederick, P.C. recently took home the Illinois State Bar Association’s John C. McAndrews Pro Bono Service Award. Nominated by PILI for its commitment to pro bono service, this firm sets the standard for pro bono in small firms in Illinois.
The 13 attorneys at Kavanagh averaged nearly 80 hours of pro bono work each in 2014, totaling an estimated 1,000 hours of pro bono. This high average is the result of a culture of service that has long been established by partners throughout the firm’s history.
“Pro bono is a part of the culture of the Kavanagh Firm,” said Ann Pieper, an attorney at Kavanagh. “We believe that it is important to be a part of the community where you live and work, and to respect our neighbors, regardless of their income level. By providing legal services to those who cannot afford it in areas where we are particularly knowledgeable or passionate, we strengthen our community and elevate all of us.”
The attorneys’ pro bono work involves providing critical services to institutions supporting Peoria’s low-income population. For example, one attorney provides approximately 10 hours per month of pro bono services to libraries in the area. Another attorney spends approximately 40 hours per month providing pro bono services to nonprofits.
Kavanagh is seen as a local pro bono leader. Staff at Praire State Legal Services recognize Kavanaugh attorneys as ones who will take any case and handle each client with care and respect. The Volunteer Coordinator at Praire State said this firm sets itself apart by “the commitment to take any case regardless of the complexity or time commitment.”
In addition to their regular pro bono work, Kavanaugh actively participates in PILI’s Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee. In 2014, Ann Pieper was the recipient of the Peoria County Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award at a reception held by the Committee held during Pro Bono Week. Prior to that, Kavanagh received the distinction of the Peoria County Pro Bono Plan Firm of the Year in 1988, 1995, 2001, and 2003.
The commitment of Kavanaugh attorneys to pro bono service proves that great results come from a firm-wide culture of service. Thank you to Kavanaugh for your pro bono work and congratulations on your award!