Become Involved - Pro Bono Opportunities
Welcome to the IBF's page featuring Pro Bono opportunities for lawyers and law students. The information below is provided by our current grantees, based on the opportunities they have available. We encourage our Fellows and friends of the Illinois Bar Foundation to become involved and learn more about the organizations we support.
To find additional volunteer opportunities at IBF grantee organizations across the state, visit the Volunteer Opportunities Search at IllinoisProBono.org.
Cabrini Green Legal Aid
Located in Chicago-Serving Cook County
Cabrini Green Legal Aid views itself as a bridge between their clients and individuals who desire to give assistance to the disenfranchised and poor. Attorneys are needed to conduct intake interviews for potential clients with family, housing, and criminal defense cases. Pro bono attorneys also staff the Expungement and Sealing Help Desk located in the Daley Center.
For more information regarding time commitment or upcoming trainings, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (312) 738-2452 or through their website: www.cgla.net
Center for Disability and Elder Law
Located in Chicago- Serving Chicago and Cook County
ATTORNEY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
One component of the dual mission of the Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL) is to foster the provision of pro bono legal services to low-income seniors and/or persons with disabilities residing in Cook County. Each year hundreds of attorneys generously donate their time and talent to make it possible for CDEL to assist thousands of its vulnerable and underrepresented clients. Volunteer attorneys receive the training and support necessary to provide quality representation and provide direct legal services to our clients. CDEL offers attorneys a variety of volunteer opportunities, which include:
Representing individual clients in a range of civil legal areas;
Participating in the Senior Center Initiative (SCI), by making a Presentation or working with clients at a Workshop;
Participating in the Senior Tax Opportunity Program (STOP);
Serving as a mentor for another volunteer attorney(s);
Presenting accredited Continuing Legal Education Seminars on topics related to the legal services which CDEL provides or in other areas of interest.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
If you are a licensed Illinois attorney, interested in volunteering with CDEL, you may: complete a Volunteer Form on line on our website: www.cdelaw.org or contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Equip for Eqaulity
Located in Chicago, Carbondale, Moline, adn Springfield- Serving Statewide
Telephone Helpline Assistance
Illinois State Board of Education Complaints/ Office of Civil Rights Complaints
Due Process Hearings
Latinos With Disabilities Advocacy Project
Juvenile Justice Project
Special Education Clinic-Pro Bono Need:
Although the law mandates that children with disabilities receive an education appropriate to meet their individual needs, our schools are abridging these children’s educational rights by failing to design or implement an appropriate IEP and/or unnecessarily segregating these children from their peers. Parents typically bear the burden of trying to persuade the schools to provide an appropriate education. The process is daunting for all parents, but especially for the parents whom we typically represent: those with a limited education, a disability themselves, and/or limited resources. The recent Legal Aid Safety Net Study confirms the need for legal advocacy in this area. Specifically, the Study found that education ranks first among unmet legal aid needs by category, with over 90 percent of education issues going without legal assistance. Another study also confirms the need for legal representation in this area; it showed that when parents are unrepresented by counsel in administrative due process hearings, the parents prevail at the hearing only 20% of the time, in contrast to a more level playing field when represented by counsel, prevailing a little less than fifty percent of the time. A pro bono partnership would help to address these issues and inequities.
The following are pro bono opportunities in the Special Education Clinic:
For more information about the opportunities available at Equip for Equality, please visit their website at www.equipforequality.org
Illinois Legal Aid Online
Located in Chicago- Serving Statewide
Writing & Editing Legal Resources
Illinois Legal Aid Online facilitates the delivery of pro bono services in Illinois through the use of technology. They have recently launched a Pro Bono Case Pairing and Mentor Matching System, an innovative new resource on www.IllinoisProBono.org that connects legal volunteers with one another as mentors and mentees or as case partners. Below are current volunteer positions available with Illinois Legal Aid Online. For other opportunities, please visit IllinoisProBono.org.
Attorneys and paralegals will draft, edit, and update online legal resources for legal aid and pro bono attorneys and/or legal information for the public on Illinois Legal Aid Online's (ILAO) websites. Volunteers can work from any location at any time they like; all work and communication can be accomplished online. For more information, please click here.
Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) is looking for paralegals and other professionals to translate the legal content on www.IllinoisLegalAid.org from English to Spanish. Fluency in written Spanish is required. Volunteers can be located anywhere, as all work can be conducted online. For more information, please click here.
In an effort to make the legal information on Illinois Legal Aid Online's (ILAO) websites available to a broader audience, we are looking for volunteers to transcribe video webcasts that appear on these websites. Our websites have over 400 webcasts that need to be transcribed for the deaf and hearing impaired. For more information, please click here
Public Interest Law Initiative
Located in Chciago- Serving Statewide
Illinois Law Firms and Corporations
Law School Students
Recent Law School Graduates
Since its founding in 1977, the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) has cultivated a lifelong commitment to public interest law by creating opportunities for law students and lawyers to provide public interest and pro bono work in Illinois.
Working together with over 50 Participating Agencies in Illinois, PILI guides attorneys at every stage in their legal careers in actualizing their professional responsibilities and personal commitments to equal access to justice through a continuum of public interest law and pro bono opportunities. PILI’s programs first capture emerging lawyers when they are law students and new law school graduates, and then extend into legal practice to reach new associates, seasoned lawyers, and senior attorneys working in every sector of the legal community – private, academic, government and nonprofit. PILI has opportunities available for:
For more information about Public Interest Law Initiative, please visit there website at www.pili-law.org
The Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Imparied
Located in Chicago- Serving Statewide
The Chicago Lighthouse Arthur and Esther Kane Legal Clinic is the only legal clinic that provides free legal services exclusively to the blind and visually impaired community in the nation. During our five and a half years of operation, we have served more than 1,000 persons in numerous areas of the law, including employment discrimination, personal injury, social security issues, housing and travel discrimination as well as criminal defense. We have been contacted for assistance by people who are blind or visually impaired throughout the United States. Our work has been recognized by John Marshall Law School, Vanderbilt Law School, and Chief Justice John Roberts of the United States Supreme Court.
Thier staff consists of Judge Nicolas T. Pomaro, who is totally blind and a retired Circuit Court of Cook County Judge; Attorney Paul Rink, who is also totally blind and a retired Commissioner of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission; and paralegal Juli Gold, who is visually impaired.
The Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired is always looking to expand their group of attorneys who volunteer pro bono for the Kane Legal Clinic. For information about volunteering, contact Juli Gold, paralegal for the Kane Legal Clinic at email@example.com or direct at 312.666.1331 ext. 3112.