The Illinois Judges Association is putting the focus on lawyer donated legal work by issuing a resolution recognizing October 20-26, as Pro Bono Week. According to IJA President Mary Schostok, “The judges in this state see daily that our citizens have unmet legal needs. Our judges are actively involved in promoting and support equal access to justice through support of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission and our efforts to provide education, advice, and representation to meet the increasing need. The Illinois Judges Association is dedicated to encouraging pro bono service and congratulates and thanks these volunteers by issuing this resolution.”
The resolution that was adopted by the officers of the Illinois Judges Association is designed to draw attention to the enormous amount of public service work done in communities throughout Illinois by lawyers and judges to improve the lives of their friends and neighbors. In 2012, more than 30,000 Illinois attorneys provided 2,142,527 hours of pro bono service through services to persons of limited means or the organizations who serve them and through providing training to lawyers who provide the pro bono services. Also, in 2012, Illinois attorneys and judges made monetary contribution to pro bono service organizations totalling nearly $16 million.
The fourth week in October has been designated by the American Bar Association as pro bono week as an effort to showcase pro bono work across the state and the country.
The resolution states “that the Illinois Judges Association recognizes the week of October 20-26, 2013, as Pro Bono Week, commends Illinois attorneys and judges for their ongoing pro bono contributions, and encourages judges to inspire attorneys to engage in pro bono work in order to make a significant difference in the lives of Illinoisans who would not otherwise have access to the legal system; and further urges all Illinoisans to recognize the contribution of the legal community helping those most in need.”