Georgia C. is why I do pro bono. My colleague Brett Johnson and I spent 6 months and hundreds of hours to get her the pension benefits she'd earned. When we told her that her employer had finally agreed to a significant settlement, she cried tears of joy. We had literally changed someone's life simply by doing our jobs and using available resources. What a simple thing. Our work took no special skills and no particular insight. It just took our time and our commitment not to give up. This project was life changing for both me and my client. I know I will never forget the feeling of helping her and I will continue to work to help those like her as best I can.
- Todd Solomon, Partner, McDermott, Will & Emery
When low income and other disadvantaged individuals encounter legal issues and cannot afford to pay for a lawyer, they turn to our pro bono and legal aid system for help. There are 43,000 lawyers in the Chicago area, but only 300 full-time legal aid attorneys to meet the needs of the 1.3 million people that qualify for help. Pro bono attorneys are a critical part of the effort to make the justice system fair and accessible to all people, not just those who can afford an attorney.
The CBF's very popular Pro Bono Opportunities Guide was updated in October 2012. This guide is designed to help attorneys find a pro bono program particularly suited to their interests, skills and schedules. Also, we can provide hard copies of the Guide for you or your office, so please email us if you would like copies.
Additional information about pro bono is available on www.IllinoisProBono.org, which features searchable information about pro bono programs, a calendar of pro bono related events including trainings, and other information for pro bono attorneys throughout Illinois.