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Celebrate Pro Bono on October 22-28

By Michael G. Bergmann

Coordinated by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, Pro Bono Week is intended to inspire greater pro bono participation by lawyers throughout the nation. This initiative provides an opportunity for legal organizations across the country to collaboratively commemorate the vitally important contributions of America’s lawyers, and to recruit and train the many additional volunteers required to meet the growing demand. The Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service undertook this initiative to provide a format for showcasing the incredible difference that pro bono lawyers make to our nation, to our system of justice, to our communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve.

The ISBA commemorates this national celebration each year by encouraging its members to do pro bono and by recognizing those who meet the call. Two years ago, the ISBA launched its Pro Bono Partner initiative, through which members commit to: (1) seek out the local pro bono legal services being supplied to individuals or charitable, religious, or civic organizations in their community; (2) attend or support a recognition ceremony for those who participate in pro bono services in their community; (3) consider attending training provided to lawyers who provide pro bono services; and (4) commit to joining the efforts to increase access to the legal system.

The ISBA Delivery of Legal Services Committee organized two webinars in October geared towards those interested in helping low-income individuals with their legal needs. Tune in to “Working Effectively with Interpreters” on Wednesday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m., which is free for the first 26 registrants who agree to take a pro bono case in the next year. “Working with Low Income Clients” will be held on Wednesday, October 25 at noon, and is available at no cost for the first 30 registrants who agree to take a pro bono case in the next year.

There are also a lot of great programs and events happening around the state during this year’s celebration of Pro Bono Week. Many of these events are being organized by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) through Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees that it has organized around the state, and are in partnership with Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation or Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.

Wednesday, October 18, 11:45 a.m. – Child Support Income Shares CLE Program
Macon County Courthouse, 253 Wood Street in Decatur

The Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will hold a complimentary CLE will cover the new child support rules, the rationale behind these rules and directions on how to calculate income shares in different situations.

Monday, October 23, 5:30 p.m. – Tenth Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Reception
Caterpillar Visitors Center, 110 SW Washington Street in Peoria

The Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize the efforts of Pro Bono Pledge Signatories and Pro Bono Service Award Recipients to expand and enhance access to justice in the Tenth Judicial Circuit. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride will be our special guest speaker.

Tuesday, October 24, 12:00 pm – Third Judicial Circuit Celebrate Pro Bono Luncheon
Leclaire Room at Lewis and Clark Community College, 600 Troy Road in Edwardsville

The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize the efforts of Pro Bono Pledge Signatories and Pro Bono Service Award Recipients to expand and enhance access to justice in the Third Judicial Circuit. The Honorable Michael A. Fiello of the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and the Honorable Lloyd A. Karmeier, Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court will be our special guest speakers.

Wednesday, October 25, 5:00 pm – Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Reception
Deere & Company World Headquarters in Moline

The Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will host a reception at John Deere. Pro bono volunteers who have worked to expand and enhance pro bono in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit will be recognized at the event.

Thursday, October 26, 11:30 am – Sixth Judicial Circuit CLE Program & Awards Presentation
Regent Ballroom, 1406 Regency Drive West in Savoy

The Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is presenting a complimentary CLE entitled “The Fate of the Orphan in Law and Literature” as well as its Community Legal Services Award at this program.

Saturday, October 28, 8:45 am – Eleventh Judicial Circuit Legal Advice Fair
Mid Central Community Action, 1301 West Washington Street in Bloomington

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee is once again co-sponsoring a Legal Advice Fair in Bloomington, where volunteer attorneys were available to give one-time legal advice concerning family issues, housing disputes, debt concerns and more.

Thursday, November 2nd, 5:30 pm – Fifth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Celebration Dinner
Mattoon Country Club, 6700 N Country Club Road in Mattoon

The Fifth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize the efforts of Pro Bono Pledge Signatories and Pro Bono Service Award Recipients to expand and enhance access to justice in the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Curtis Lovelace of The Lovelace Center for Criminal Defense will be the special guest speaker.

Visit PILI's Pro Bono Week page to learn more about these events and PILI’s Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees.The Illinois Pro Bono Pledge has been launched in six of these judicial circuits and has over 120 signatories statewide. 

Michael G. Bergmann is the executive director of the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). He is also a member of the ISBA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, the Bench and Bar Section Council, and the Assembly.

Posted on Oct 03, 2017 by Sara Anderson | Comments (0)
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