Attorneys and other professionals work alongside Legal Aid Chicago’s staff to run a variety of pro bono projects such as legal clinics and help desks. (If you are a law student seeking opportunities, please see our WORK WITH US page.) All of these offer a unique opportunity to connect with a diverse population and help us reach clients that might otherwise go unserved.
We are currently seeking volunteers for the projects listed below. Please check back regularly, as these opportunities often change.
If you would like more information or want to get involved with a pro bono case or an opportunity below, please submit a volunteer application and indicate the case or projects that interest you.
Attorney Volunteers must be licensed and in good standing with the Bar. Additional qualifications specified if applicable.
IN-HOUSE AT LEGAL AID CHICAGO:
ADAPT (Advance Directives and Property Transfers)
Advise people in preparing Advance Directives and Property Transfers: Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Property, Living Wills, and TODIs. Conduct telephone interviews with clients, then meet with them at Legal Aid Chicago to finalize these important documents.
- Time Commitment: 3-hour shifts, minimum of 2 shifts per month
- Training & Benefits: eLearning training which can be done from your home or office. Manuals, online resources, and other materials provided along with support from Legal Aid Chicago attorneys.
Adult Criminal Records Expungement Screening Volunteer
Screen and conduct a brief telephone interview with potential criminal record expungement clients for upcoming expungement summits. Provide advice to potential clients on how to navigate the first steps of the records expungement process.
- Time Commitment: 4-6 hours/week
- Qualifications: Must be either an active or retired attorney, comfortable with technology or willing to learn, helpful to have direct client counseling experience, but is not required.
- Training & Benefits: One-on-one training available on-site on a continuous basis, excellent support team available to answer questions, volunteer manual, and additional resources made available. Option to work remotely as needed.
Bankruptcy Help Desk
Work alongside Legal Aid Chicago staff at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse to help clients prepare forms and draft motions. Answer clients’ questions about bankruptcy in general or their cases in particular.
- Time Commitment: 3-4 hour shifts, minimum of 6 shifts per year
- Additional Qualifications: At least 1 year of experience practicing bankruptcy law.
- Training & Benefits: Mandatory 90-minute online training that can be completed at the volunteer’s home or office.
The William J. Hibbler Memorial Pro Se Assistance Program
Assist pro se litigants at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse by reviewing documents, providing guidance on the discovery process, and assisting them through all phases of litigation.
- Time Commitment: One 3-hour shift per month.
- Additional Qualifications: 3-5 years of federal court experience; experience in employment discrimination law is helpful, but not required.
- Training & Benefits: Half-day on-site training consisting of observing one shift of appointments, followed by an opportunity for the Legal Aid Chicago staff attorney to observe and provide feedback to the volunteer. Volunteers receive ongoing mentoring and support from an experienced staff attorney.
Orders of Protection Litigation Project
Provide direct representation to victims of domestic violence who are seeking to obtain an Order of Protection at the west suburban Maybrook Courthouse.
- Time Commitment: 3-9 weeks with 1-2 court appearances
- Additional Qualifications: Must join the Pro Bono Network.
- Training & Benefits: Online training provided through the Pro Bono Network with ongoing support from Legal Aid Chicago.
FROM YOUR HOME OR OFFICE:
SNAP Pro Bono Project
Provide telephone advocacy on behalf of food stamp recipients who are having problems receiving their benefits.
- Time Commitment: Varies by case. Most cases can be resolved with phone calls and emails. For cases that cannot be resolved, volunteers may provide continued representation through the hearing. Legal Aid Chicago staff are also available to take cases to hearings, as needed.
- Training & Benefits: CLE training and reference manuals provided.
Pro Bono Panel
Receive an occasional email containing cases where Legal Aid Chicago seeks collaboration with or help from a volunteer attorney. Cases include both transactional and litigation matters.
- Time Commitment: Varies based on the case.
- Training & Benefits: No formal training is provided, but Legal Aid Chicago will provide mentorship and ongoing support as needed.
For Other Professionals:
SNAP Pro Bono Project
See description above.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Project
Visit nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and skilled living facilities in suburban Cook County to investigate and resolve complaints. Assist people on a systemic level when multiple residents of a facility are facing a problem. Educate residents, family, staff and the community about residents’ rights.
- Time Commitment: 4 hours a month.
- Qualifications: Must be over the age of 18 and be able to travel.
- Training & Benefits: 2-day training at Legal Aid Chicago. Volunteers receive ongoing support.
Financial Consulting Project
Perform forensic investigations to detect hidden assets and financial modeling to determine the value of assets or a business. Assist in the preparation of materials for presentation in court, or in some cases, communicate their findings in the form of a written report or as oral testimony.
- Time Commitment: Varies by case.
- Qualifications: Experience in litigation consulting, fraud investigations, forensic accounting, or business valuation.
Although you may not see a project that utilizes your skill set, we are always open to discussing a potential volunteer role. If you possess any of the following skills, we’d love to hear from you as well.
- Accounting & Finance
- Community Engagement
- Data Management
- Fundraising or Special Events Support
- Marketing & Public Relations
- Real Estate
- Social Work
Please check back regularly, as our pro bono opportunities often change. If you would like to share your time and talents or are interested in receiving more information about any of our projects or cases, please Sign-UP for Legal Aid Chicago’s Volunteer Opportunities!