Pro Bono & Community
Our dedication to pro bono and community service is part of the fabric of our Firm, and we strive to use our time, talents and expertise to assist those who are in need. The Chicago office provides unique opportunities for our attorneys and business professionals to help others through pro bono legal services, community service and volunteerism, fund-raising and charitable giving. We have been offering these services in the Chicagoland area for decades. As one of our core value statements explains: "We value our communities. We support and encourage the active involvement of our people in pro bono and community service."
One of the ways we celebrate these efforts is by awarding the Robert L. Berner, Jr. Pro Bono and Public Service Award of Excellence
to those who excel in their pro bono and community service work. The award is named for our partner, Robert L. Berner, Jr.
, who from 1963 has led the office's efforts to meet the needs of the underserved in our Chicago communities. Children and Families
For the past several years, Chicago office lawyers and staff have partnered with McCutcheon Elementary School
in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, providing constitutional law training to classes of fourth, fifth and sixth graders. Managing Partner Phil Suse regularly serves as Principal for a Day and the school’s choir has performed at our holiday party.
Our lawyers are actively involved in the Ladder Up Tax Assistance Program (TAP), which provides free tax preparation services
to low-income families, enabling the working poor to claim valuable tax credits and refunds. Education
Our lawyers wrote the Counsel of Parent Attorneys and Advocates’ (COPAA) Supreme Court amicus briefs in Winkelman v. Parma City School District
, advocating for the rights of parents to represent themselves in court to protect their children’s rights
under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The United States Supreme Court decided unanimously in the Winkelman’s favor. Criminal Defense
Our lawyers worked with the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law
in representing Ronald Kitchen, who was exonerated and freed from prison
after spending 20 years in jail for murders he did not commit. International
Our lawyers joined with other law firms around the globe to assume representation of inmates in Guantanamo Bay
, Cuba to challenge their status classification as enemy combatants. Client Teaming
Our lawyers have teams with client such as Abbott Laboratories, Baxter International
and Caterpillar, Inc.
in our "Partners to Serve" program, a series of naturalization clinics designed to assist individuals applying to become US citizens. Our lawyers and clients work with National Immigrant Justice Center.
We have also teamed with the McDonald's Corporation
and the Center for Disability and Elder Law
to help victims of predatory lending practices and teamed with Accenture
to represent the Public Interest Law Institute (PILI)
to analyze mechanisms to deter discrimination and to promote education in connection with democraticization issues in Nepal.
For more information on our Pro Bono & Community efforts in Chicago, please contact: