Pro Bono organizations offer free or reduced-rate representation in civil legal matters for clients who lack the resources to hire an attorney on their own. The legal system in Illinois strives to provide equal justice to all citizens. Still, it can be too complex for litigants to navigate independently, and hiring a lawyer can be prohibitively expensive. Pro bono organizations strive to bridge the gap and provide education, outreach, and legal representation to historically marginalized communities. Part of our responsibility as attorneys is to give back to the community in pro bono legal services or qualified monetary contributions.
When considering your charitable contributions, please consider giving to one of these organizations.
1. Legal Aid Chicago
Legal Aid Chicago uses free legal aid to fight structural racism in Cook County. They provide free civil legal representation to residents who have low income or special needs. They work with clients in the following areas: family & safety; house & apartment; money & debt; work & employment; health, disability, basic needs; and immigration.
2. Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation
The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation serves survivors of sexual assault or sexual violence. They offer services such as advocating for client rights within the criminal justice system, accompaniment to police and prosecutor interviews, and representation in civil litigation.
3. Equip for Equality
Equip for Equality supports the human and civil rights of people with disabilities. They provide legal advocacy services in cases involving civil rights, abuse and neglect, and special education rights.
4. Access Living
Access Living serves low-income Chicago residents in fair housing matters that involve reasonable accommodation, modification, or new construction for people with disabilities; appeals of Home Services Program; and equal access to government services.
5. Legal Council for Health Justice
Legal Council for Health Justice provides advice, guardianship, and education to low-income persons with Aids or HIV, the homeless, and at-risk and medically complex children and their families. They partner with medical providers and other care providers to ensure their clients receive the services they need to stay healthy.
6. Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services
Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services supports human trafficking victims. Their programs include education, emotional wellness, and empowerment to support stronger communities and families.
7. Power of Fathers
A partner of Children’s Home & Aid, Power of Fathers serves low-income fathers (particularly fathers of color) in Englewood and North Lawndale. Their programs include education support, life skills training, job preparation and placement, physical, and behavioral health, co-parenting workshops, and more.
8. Chicago Department of Family and Support Services
Chicago Department of Family and Support Services supports seniors over the age of 60. They provide advice and referrals for home services such as senior discount benefits and free rides. They also provide direct referrals to CARPLS.
Make a Charitable Contribution This Holiday Season
The holidays are the perfect reminder to end the year with a charitable contribution. When you donate to legal aid providers, you are helping to bring education, outreach, and legal representation to historically marginalized communities. There are many more great legal aid providers for you to consider. See our full list in the image below: