Why volunteer with LAS?
The Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Program allows volunteers to make equal access to justice a reality. We match volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and student interns with litigation/non-litigation opportunities based on their interests and availability. Volunteers learn new skills, use their current skills to broaden resources for LAS clients and provide vital legal services to the most vulnerable individuals living in communities served by Metropolitan Family Services’ community centers.
- MCLE accredited training and mentoring (in some substantive areas)
- Intake, client screening and scheduling
- Court filing, file checking, obtaining court dates
- Preparation of documents for Uncontested Prove-Ups
- Malpractice insurance
Attorneys and Paralegals
Pro Bono opportunities in family law, elder law, and poverty law include client interviews, contested litigation and/or presenting at “Know Your Rights” workshops.
The Legal Aid Society pairs law and undergrad students with staff attorneys and paralegals. Volunteers have opportunities to:
- Interview clients
- Prepare pleadings and discovery requests/responses
- Conduct legal research on actual cases
- Present cases at Case Acceptance meetings
- Handling status dates in court (711 license required)
- Argue uncontested or contested motions in court (711 license required)
Additional Pro Bono Programs
- Domestic Violence Courthouse Project (in partnership with DePaul University’s Family Law Clinic)
- Collaborative Law Project
- Child Support Clinic (third Tuesday of the month) in partnership with the Law Offices of Cowell Taradash P.C. for clients trying to enforce child support orders
WINSTON & STRAWN
“This year, Winston & Strawn attorneys have provided pro bono legal representation on cases from mortgage fraud to human trafficking to wills and estates to simple divorces. Their talented and generous work is invaluable to these clients who would not otherwise be able to afford legal representation.
Winston attorneys also consistently volunteer at the Legal Aid Society’s legal aid help desk at the St. Vincent de Paul Center’s Homeless Resource Fair, and hosted a simple divorce training to encourage its attorneys to participate in the Legal Aid Society’s Simple Divorce Program.”
– LAS Supervising Attorney Mia Segal, presenting Senior Pro Bono Counsel Greg McConnell with the Scott C. Solberg Pro Bono Award for a Law Firm at the 2018 Equal Access to Justice Award Luncheon
- In FY18 volunteers donated 7,527 hours of pro bono time, valued at $1,107,641
- $1,200,000+ in financial awards secured in child support and other areas for domestic violence survivors
- $49,000+ in financial awards secured for housing and consumer clients
Dana Harbaugh, Pro Bono Coordinator