CBA Record October 2017


attorneys. But where do the people who can’t afford attorneys get help? Cook County has more than 1.5 mil- lion residents who are eligible for free legal services, but only about 300 full time legal aid attorneys. That leaves the private bar to fill a really big gap. Right now, less than one-third of us contribute pro bono legal services to help people like Elsie—poor people with legitimate defenses, valid claims or legal problems. This year’s Pro Bono Week emphasizes community. Community is an essential ele- ment of our collective human experience. We all belong to the community. We take from it as we need and, when we can, we give back, sometimes by helping people who were dealt a lousy hand. Chicago’s community needs more of you to step up. Most pro bono work is not hard or time-consuming. Simple cases like defending an eviction, doing an adoption, challenging a collection case or negotiating a contract can make a huge difference in a person’s life. Do pro bono for the sake of your com- munity. Meg Benson joined Chicago Volunteer Legal Services in 1982 to set up the Panel Referral Program. She became Deputy Director in 1983, and was elevated to Executive Direc- tor in 2003 when her predecessor retired. Responsible for program management, and the coordination of bench, bar and law firm relations, Meg also writes extensively, including CVLS training materials and a bi-monthly column on pro bono for the Chicago Lawyer. National Purchasing Partners The CBAhas partneredwithNational Purchasing Partners (NPP) to offer members discount pric- ing on a variety of products. Employee discounts also available.To learnmore, visit www.mynpp. com or call 800/810-3909.

I want to volunteer: how do I get involved? Here are two ways to get started: –Attend the 24th Annual Pro Bono and Community Service Fair during Pro BonoWeek Thursday, October 26, 5:00-7:00 pm Kirkland & Ellis LLP (300 N. LaSalle St.) Presented by the Young Lawyers Section and co-sponsored by the CBF and Kirkland & Ellis Meet with representatives from 40+ of Chicago’s legal aid, pro bono, community service and mentoring organizations to find an opportunity that fits your schedule, interests and goals. Register at www.chica- –Contact Angela Inzano at 312/554-4952 or to talk about how you can get involved or to request a copy of our newly updated Pro Bono Opportunities Guide (updated user-friendly online version coming soon!).

$s soon as , Moined -enner %lock, ,, and every other associate in the Àrm, was assigned a pro bono criminal case. My client was found not guilty after a Mury trial in federal court. From then on, , represented ten criminal defendants each year. , also served as Àrst chair of the -enner pro bono committee and participated regularly with the Federal Defender Program.

Dedicate yourself to this work it is rewarding and it is the right thing to do.

Hon. Thomas R. Mulroy CBA President Circuit Court of Cook County

The Chicago Bar Association & The Chicago Bar Foundation 2017 Pro Bono Week Oct 23-27

38 OCTOBER 2017

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