Many important causes are honored in October.
One of the most important to the goal of access to justice is Pro Bono Week. This year, the week will be celebrated Oct. 23-29. The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will have a luncheon at noon Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the LeClaire room on the Edwardsville campus of Lewis and Clark Community College to emphasize the efforts of Madison County lawyers to assist those on limited incomes with their legal problems.
The featured speaker will be Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier, who has been elected to be the next chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. The luncheon will feature the presentation of awards for outstanding pro bono work done by attorney Leslie Wood and to the law firm of Simmons, Hanly and Conroy.
“The attorneys who volunteer their time in local programs as a public service are incredible,” noted Judge Barb Crowder, chair of the Pro Bono Committee. “Their commitment to helping people with low incomes and those who are veterans makes it possible for individuals who need help with court to better understand the legal system.”
The committee wants to remind the public there are multiple programs available. All programs are handled through the pro bono coordinator and self-help center in the Madison County Law Library. Low-income individuals who do not have attorneys may make a 30-minute appointment on any civil matter such as landlord-tenant, collections cases, small claims, divorce and child support or other subjects for the second or fourth Tuesday of each month. Low-income individuals who have real estate deed or other problems may make an appointment to speak with Recorder of Deeds Amy Meyer in the Madison County Law Library on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Veterans who do not have attorneys but have legal issues may be able to be matched with an attorney volunteer who will help the veteran with the legal problem. Additional attorneys volunteer to be appointed to do mediation in family law cases and are willing to be appointed as guardians ad litem without fee when needed by the court. Finally, law firms volunteer to host high school students in the summer to allow them to observe the legal system.
The committee names and thanks those attorneys who handled appointments quarterly. The attorneys who volunteered to see appointments in July, August and September are Bradley Allen, Erin Beavers, Kathy Buckley, Jared Giuffre, Bill Henry, Bonnie Levo, Elizabeth Levy, Justin Mattea, Michael Meehan, Amy Meyer, Ian Murphy, Zach Pashea, John Raffaelle, Sean Sheehan, Amy Sholar, Kelly Stephan, Gale Stipes, Suzanne Vogel, Mary Beth Williams and Audra Zobrist.
Any individual who needs legal information or assistance and does not have an attorney may contact the Third Judicial Circuit Pro bono committee. Qualifying information may need to be provided. Any attorney who wants to volunteer to help may also do so. The public should contact Lauren Jansen at (618) 296-4472 or email her with an appointment request at firstname.lastname@example.org. Veterans are asked to specifically identify themselves.