Through Pro Bono Works, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights connects attorneys in law firms of all sizes and corporate legal departments with individual clients, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community-based groups. We have one of the largest pro bono programs in the city. Pro Bono Works offers attorneys a rich variety of pro bono opportunities, including the greatest volume of transactional opportunities in Chicago.
In 2018, 700 attorneys provided pro bono legal support worth more than
$7.5 million to Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, our clients, and communities.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer attorney,
please fill out the form below.
In establishing Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in 1969, our founding attorneys and law firms had a clear vision: to make the resources of law firms available to community organizations, black-owned businesses, and individuals fighting discrimination, especially where the issues could have broader impact. They understood that access to expert legal resources, particularly in connection with business law problems and systemic litigation, is essential to gaining power in our economic and political system.
A strong partnership with the private bar continues to be core to our business model and legal services delivery. Today, as we pursue our mission to advance racial equity and economic opportunity for all, we are broadening and deepening our law firm and corporate partnerships to powerfully expand our capacity and impact through pro bono referrals and co-counseling.
Our Menu Includes:
Transactional Legal Assistance to Strengthen Community Economic Development
Direct representation of nonprofits, small businesses, and entrepreneurs that are located in or primarily serve communities of color
Brief legal consultations to small businesses and social entrepreneurs at neighborhood offices, small business development centers or neighborhood chambers of commerce, or customized legal clinics
Our transactional pro bono list provides opportunities for attorneys with corporate, tax, real estate, finance, employment, and intellectual property practices.
Settlement assistance to pro se parties in federal court settlement proceedings on civil rights claims
Direct representation of individual clients in administrative and court proceedings in a variety of civil rights matters, including housing discrimination, disparate treatment of students of color in school discipline and other education-related cases, and civil hate crime complaints
Civil rights impact litigation on behalf of community organizations
Volunteer at the downtown Call Center on Election Days or volunteer to work in the field to monitor polls and respond to problems as they arise throughout the city, county and beyond through Election Protection, the nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection coalition.
Policy Advocacy and Research
Research and drafting to support policy advocacy to advance racial equity and economic opportunity in our core areas of civil rights practice: education equity, equitable community development and housing, and voting rights and civic empowerment.
Conduct community education on civil rights issues, including fair housing, equitable development, hate crime, voting rights, and education.
Present workshops on entity selection, corporate formation, contracts and negotiation tips to entrepreneurs
Draft legal alerts, guides, and publications on topics of interest to small businesses and nonprofits