The mission of the ACC Chicago's Pro Bono Committee is to identify and facilitate legal pro bono service opportunities for ACC Chicago members.
Pro Bono Committee Information
The Pro Bono Committee has periodic conference calls to discuss ways to connect ACC Chicago members with pro bono opportunities, manages an opt-in listserv notifying members of service opportunities, manages an opt-in listserv notifying members of service opportunities, and host 3-4 volunteer and/or CLE events a year. If you would like to be placed on ACC Chicago's Pro Bono listserv and receive periodic emails regarding pro bono opportunities, please send an email to Chicago@accglobal.com.
For all other pro bono committee inquiries, please contact Catherine Smith.
Pro Bono and Community Outreach Opportunities*
Judicial Competition Assistance
The YMCA of the USA is presenting the 5th Annual National Judicial Competition for high school students. This event will bring some of the most talented, enthusiastic and diverse young leaders from around our country together to gain a deeper understanding and respect for our legal system and for their responsibility as citizens within that system.
NATIONAL JUDICIAL COMPETITION
Tuesday and Wednesday
July 31 and August 1, 2018
The students will be traveling from seventeen (17) different states to Chicago, IL, for the competition which includes both mock trials and appellate court rounds. The students are a diverse group with female students historically representing 56% of over 250 participants. Fostering diversity and inclusion is vital. Researchers have documented that students’ exposure to other students who are different from themselves and to the novel ideas and challenges that such exposure brings leads to improved cognitive skills, including critical thinking and problem solving. Diverse role models within the legal profession are also important for the success of these students.
Volunteer to preside over mock trial and appellate court rounds and rate teams on their presentations, knowledge of the case and ability to think on their feet. Each mock trial round is two hours in duration and each appellate round is one hour. Each judge is asked to commit to a minimum of participating in either one trial or two appellate trial rounds. The appellate court competition will be held at the Dirksen Federal Building. The mock trials will be at the Chicago Bar Association.
To volunteer go to: https://ymcaoftheusa.formstack.com/forms/njc2018.
Legal Aid Assistance
For over two decades, First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA) has provided the first line of defense for arrestees by providing free station house representation for all Chicagoans 24 hours a day,365 days a year.
FDLA has recently had huge victories in their quest to get legal representation to everyone in police custody. Chief Judge Evans has officially ruled on a general order appointing counsel to all arrestees in police custody who assert their right to an attorney and when an attorney is immediately available. Additionally, they have been able to form a partnership with the Public Defenders’ office in order to provide 24 hour free legal representation to not only Chicago detainees but also suburban detainees!
FDLA is in need of more attorneys to help staff their 24 hour hotline. This is a great option for pro bono work. Visit them online at www.first-defense.org or contact Marissa Brown, Attorney Recruitment & Partnership Coordinator, First Defense Legal Aid at email@example.com or at (773)466-9559 for more information.
Intellectual Property/ Information Technology/ Privacy Assistance
LOGGins IT Solutions and Help Desk is a Kankakee County information systems small business that requests assistance with intellectual property protection of a logo. For more information, contact Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Quality Media is a Wrightwood multimedia small business that requests assistance with intellectual property protection of a logo. For more information, contact Angie at email@example.com.
Endorance Inc. is an Austin website development small business that requests intellectual property protection of a logo. For more information, contact Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Runaway Glow Productions is a south shore portable runway small business that requests assistance with intellectual property protection of their logo. For more information, contact Angie at email@example.com.
Shelff Your Digital Shoe Closet is a west suburban mobile app based shoe sales small business that requests intellectual property protection of a logo and review of their website terms and conditions. For more information, contact Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicago Community Loan Fund requests legal representation in closing a loan to EREG Development, LLC (EREG) in the amount of $500,000. EREG will construct a mixed-use building with 4 floors of affordable housing on top of a one-story community facility at 3441 W. Montrose Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. The property will be developed on what is now vacant land. The new building will consist of 48 residential units consisting of one and two bedroom units. No collateral? For more information contact Jody at email@example.com
Chicago Community Loan Fund requests legal representation in closing a loan to EREG Development, LLC (EREG) in the amount of $500,000. In collaboration with the City of Chicago and Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), EREG Development, LLC (EREG) will construct a mixed-use building with 4 floors of affordable housing on top of a two-story (estimated) 16,000 square foot library space (and additional retail space if feasible) that will be the new home of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) Independence branch. EREG will execute a ground lease with CHA in order to have the improvements conveyed via deed. No collateral? For more information contact Jody at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago Community Loan Fund requests legal representation in closing a loan to EREG Development, LLC (EREG) in the amount of $500,000. In collaboration with the City of Chicago and Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), EREG Development, LLC (EREG) will construct a mixed-use building with 4 floors of affordable housing on top of a 1-story (estimated) 17,486 square foot library space that will be the new home of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) Independence branch. EREG will execute a ground lease with CHA in order to have the improvements conveyed via deed. No collateral? For more information contact Jody at email@example.com No collateral? For more information contact Jody at firstname.lastname@example.org
Geographic Society of Chicago provides several educational programs offered in schools and afterschool programs. Many years ago, GSC established an endowment with the National Geographic Society Education Foundation to support programs to improve geography education in the Chicago area. Recently, the Foundation announced a new regional funding model. GSC requests review of the agreement and counsel on its options regarding the endowment fund. For more information, contact Erica at email@example.com
Native American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois will exist to provide a better understanding and appreciation of the importance of American Indian businesses, support for American Indian businesses, and mentorship and education of entrepreneurs in the business community. The organization requests nonprofit startup assistance, including incorporation, bylaws, conflicts of interest policy, application for appropriate income tax exemption (prefer 501c3), and registration with the Illinois Attorney General’s office, as appropriate. For more information, contact Erica at firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Estate and or Zoning Assistance
MC Lash Studio and Beauty Bar is a northside beauty salon in need of a commercial lease review. For more information, contact Angie at email@example.com.
Deaf Planet Soul (DPS) is an Illinois not for profit corporation with 501c3 income tax exemption. DPS serves and empowers the deaf and hard of hearing by providing for the education, employment, social and health needs of the community. It's primary focus areas are childhood literacy, job training, women's self-defense, and deaf refugee support. DPS seeks assistance with the purchase of a building at 6770-80 South Chicago Avenue to be used for a multi-purpose community center. For more information contact Jody at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nonprofit Organization focused on green sustainability and affordable housing requests assistance with the creation of a community land trust. Community land trusts are intended to foster long-term affordability by maintaining ownership of the land and selling or leasing only the improvements. If interested, please contact Allegra at email@example.com.
Speaking & Clinic Opportunities
CLP is seeking presenters for the following presentations for its Emerging Nonprofit Certificate of Training Program. Sample presentations can be provided for interested volunteers. Workshops will be held at 100 N. LaSalle, 6th floor. If you are interested, please contact Erica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Chicago/Small Business Center is seeking attorneys to staff a legal help desk at the “Solution Station” on Wednesdays in 2017. The Solution Station is located at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 800 and is held on Wednesdays from 9:30 am to 3 pm. The volunteer attorney(s) can sign up for the half or whole day shifts on any Wednesday. The volunteer attorney(s) will answer questions about small business/corporate structuring issues. The attorneys will not be expected to provide on-going support to any individuals. For more information, contact Angie Hall at email@example.com.
*ACC and ACC Chicago do not endorse any of these projects. The above opportunities are given for informational purposes only.
Pro Bono Opportunity Resources
The ACC does not endorse any particular pro bono or nonprofit organization or opportunity. Please contact the organization directly for more information. Practice Tip: Many organizations provide malpractice insurance for volunteers pursuant to the pro bono work.*
Chicago Bar Foundation
- Charitable arm of the Chicago Bar Association which mobilizes the Chicago legal community around the cause of ensuring that everyone in the Chicago area has equal access to justice
The CBF guide to Chicago-area pro bono opportunities, including description of work, approximate time commitment, and availability of malpractice coverage, is located at the following address: http://chicagobarfoundation.org/pdf/pro-bono/opportunities-guide.pdf
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
- 45+ years with over 3,000 volunteer attorneys serving over 18,000 clients annually in various areas of legal need
- Contact website for current volunteer opportunities.
Illinois Legal Aid Online's Corporate Counsel Home Page
The Law Project (TLP)
- 25 year history coordinating pro bono transactional legal assistance arm of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights for community-based nonprofit organizations and low/mod-income business entrepreneurs.
- For info on current opportunities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Executive Director Jody Adler. You may also sign up for the ACC Chicago pro bono opt-in listserv for periodic updates.
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
Illinois Rules regarding In-House Counsel handling pro bono matters
Pro Bono Reporting: Pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756(f), as a requirement of annual registration with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, each lawyer shall report the approximate amount of his or her pro bono legal service and the amount of qualified monetary contributions made during the preceding 12 months. The rule defines pro bono legal services as the delivery of legal services or the provision of training without charge or expectation of a fee, including:
(a) legal services rendered to a person of limited means;
(b) legal services to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental or educational organizations in matters designed to address the needs of persons of limited means;
(c) legal services to charitable, religious, civic, or community organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes; and
(d) training intended to benefit legal service organizations or lawyers who provide pro bono services.
As the comments to Rule 756(f) underscore, the pro bono reporting requirement is "intended to serve as an annual reminder to the lawyers of Illinois that pro bono legal service is an integral part of a lawyer's professionalism."
Multijurisdictional Practice: Per revised Rule 716(g), registered Illinois in-house counsel who are licensed in other states may provide pro bono legal services.