Pro bono work has been and will remain a cornerstone of our mission. We recognize the responsibility that comes with the privilege to practice law – the responsibility to use our skills to give the most vulnerable members of our community a voice and a chance at justice.
Reporting on our Pro Bono initiatives
Starting with a focus on basic human needs – health care, housing, education, employment and a safe living environment – the firm’s pro bono activities extend more broadly to representations bearing on other essential attributes of a just and humane society. We invite you to take a few minutes to review the extraordinary range of the firm’s pro bono activities in our recent pro bono reports.
While time is the most precious resource that any of us has, time is exactly what our attorneys dedicate in spades to furthering the public good. As a gold-level member of The Chicago Bar Foundation Law Firm Leadership Circle, we have established the goals that each of the firm’s attorneys will devote at least 50 hours per year to pro bono, and that the firm averages at least 50 hours of pro bono service per year per attorney. All associate hours spent on approved pro bono work count as billable time, without any cap.
Giving Voice to the Local and Global Community
The heart of a good pro bono program is the provision of free legal services to low-income individuals who otherwise would not receive legal assistance. We work to respond to individual needs by protecting the rights of prisoners, artists and inventors, by defending immigration rights and by representing asylum seekers
While a large portion of pro bono hours at the firm is devoted to this kind of representation, our attorneys are also engaged in the representation of charities and other nonprofit organizations that lack the means to retain counsel. Our attorneys have volunteered thousands of hours to support nonprofit, charitable, religious and educational organizations. Our legal services enable those organizations to dedicate more time and effort to their missions and the people they serve. As gratifying as it is to help an individual pro bono client who otherwise would have been denied access to justice, it can be equally rewarding to essentially help thousands of people – including those seeking a good education or decent housing, are afflicted with a serious illness, or are attempting to lead a productive life despite a prior encounter with the law – by supporting the organizations that address those kinds of needs.
To facilitate achieving our goals, the firm has established “preferred provider” relationships with four nonprofit organizations that provide many opportunities for transactional and litigation pro bono work. We also reinforce our emphasis on entrepreneurship by encouraging our attorneys to go outside this network and bring their own pro bono matters. These projects are self-directed and spearheaded by an individual or group of individuals who share a passion about a certain cause or organization.