Resources for Law Firms
The Pro Bono Prospectus is intended to aid law firm attorneys who are trying to encourage their firm to develop a formal pro bono program and to encourage fellow attorneys to participate in their firm's pro bono activities.
PILI, in conjunction with The Chicago Bar Foundation, has developed the Pro Bono Reference Guide to provide Illinois law firms with direction, best practices and relevant samples to aid members of the firm in developing or enhancing their firm's pro bono program.
PILI issues a monthly e-newsletter with the latest news, upcoming events and spotlights. You can find the latest newsletter, past newsletters and register to receive our e-communications by following the above link.
PILI Programs & Services
PILI offers new law school graduates the opportunity to work 300 hours during the summer after their graduation at one of 57 public interest law agencies. PILI Fellowships provide the scheduling flexibility to allow Fellows to participate in a formal bar review course and take the bar exam while gaining hands-on legal experience. Nearly two dozen Chicago law firms sponsor PILI Fellows, paying the salaries of their new associates to work at public interest law agencies.
Through our Pro Bono Program, PILI works to increase the availability of pro bono legal help for those who cannot afford an attorney in Illinois by developing innovative pro bono opportunities, offering pro bono programming and resources, cultivating best practices, and celebrating the life-changing pro bono performed throughout the state.
The Pro Bono Recognition Roster honors law firms and corporations that have made significant commitments and contributions to pro bono throughout the state of Illinois. These firms and corporations are helping ensure that individuals, families and communities who are in need receive legal services. Learn more and view the Recognition Roster here »
Pro Bono Technical Consultations
Another key service PILI provides is delivering technical consultations to law firms wishing to establish or reinvigorate their pro bono programs. As a service to the firm, PILI gathers a consultation team that includes representatives from other Illinois law firms that have been successful in the development and/or management of a pro bono program. To arrange a pro bono technical consultation, contact PILI's Executive Director, Michael Bergmann, by e-mail or at 312-832-5129.
Pro Bono for Retired and Inactive Attorneys, Attorneys Licensed in Another State, Government Attorneys, House Counsel Status Attorneys & Paralegals
PILI recently created this brochure that provides details to a variety of potential pro bono volunteers about how they can lend their skills and commitment to legal aid programs. The above link will allow you to open the brochure as a pdf, which you can also download.
PILI Events for Law Firms
Each year in the spring, PILI holds a Law Firm Pro Bono Roundtable to bring together law firm pro bono leaders to discuss pro bono opportunities, challenges, best practices and strategies for successful programs.
Each year in the fall, PILI host its Illinois Forum on Pro Bono in Chicago which gathers pro bono leaders from law firms, corporations, legal service agencies and law schools to have in-depth discussions among a cross-section of the legal profession about how to expand and enhance pro bono in Illinois. We also hold this program in other cities across Illinois through our Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees.
PILI also hosts two special events each year:
Our Annual Pro Bono Reception in June celebrates the inspiring and life-changing pro bono work being done in Illinois through effective pro bono programs, innovative partnerships, and the unwavering dedication of individual attorneys and legal professionals. We also acknowledge the law firms and corporations that have been named to our Pro Bono Recognition Roster at this event.
Our Annual Awards Luncheon in December brings together nearly 500 members of the Illinois legal community every year to celebrate the very best aspects of the legal profession: the generosity, expertise and commitment of the countless lawyers, law students, legal professionals, law firms and corporations who dedicate themselves to serving low-income people with legal needs.
The Chicago Bar Foundation publishes information about volunteer opportunities in a guide entitled, “Pro Bono Volunteer Opportunities for Attorneys in the Chicago Area.”
Statewide Pro Bono Resources
Visit www.IllinoisLegalAid.org for statewide pro bono opportunities and resources. Users can access free online training materials and resources to assist you with your pro bono matter. Users can also search based on variety of factors, including location, type of opportunity, area of law, skills and time availability.