Pro Bono Week

The Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Foundation will sponsor Chicago’s Fifth Annual Pro Bono Week from Oct.  26 to 30.

It is chaired by Jesse H. Ruiz of Drinker Biddle & Reath and Barry C. Taylor of Equip for Equality.

The week will  honor lawyers’ pro bono efforts and educate the public and  legal community about how these lawyers are improving the lives of the less fortunate, according to the organizations.

“I hope lawyers understand that it is a great week to celebrate all the contributions pro bono attorneys do to help the less fortunate in our community,” said Kelly A. Tautges, director of pro bono at the CBF. “It also offers attorneys who are already active and those considering doing it for the first time to get involved.”

In the Chicago area there are only about 300 legal aid attorneys to serve the more than 1 million people who  qualify for these services, Tautges said.

“We know more people get turned away for legal aid than actually get it because of funding. … Pro bono attorneys help and supplement the work in areas where they are needed,” she said.

The week will include a pro bono breakfast with Illinois judges, at 8 a.m. Oct. 27 at Drinker Biddle & Reath, 191 N. Wacker Drive. RSVP for the complimentary event at (under CLE) or (312) 554-2032.

MCLE Programs at the CBA:

• An introduction to representing low-income individuals and families that face a tax controversy with the IRS (Oct. 28, 3 to 6 p.m., complimentary)

• An introduction to forms of relief from a criminal record —  expungement, sealing and pardons (Oct. 30, 9 a.m. to noon, complimentary)

In the spirit of Pro Bono Week, attendees are expected to accept a pro bono case within the next six months of attending a complimentary CLE. Register at (under CLE) or (312) 554-2056.

There will also be the 16th Annual CBA Young Lawyers Section Pro Bono and Community Service Fair. From 5 to 7 p.m.  Oct. 29, meet with representatives from more than 40 of Chicago’s legal aid, pro bono, and community service organizations. Refreshments will be served.

The fair is co-sponsored by the CBF, Exelon, Kirkland & Ellis, and the Public Interest Law Initiative. The event is hosted at Kirkland & Ellis, 300 N. LaSalle St., Chicago. RSVP to by Oct. 23. A list of participating organizations can be found at


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