The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee will recognize National Pro Bono Week and celebrate the attorneys who have provided free legal advice, free legal education, and those who have handled mediations and other court appointments without charge through the court’s programs.
Pro Bono week is Oct. 26-31, and a recognition luncheon will be held at noon Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the LeClaire Room in Edwardsville. The featured speaker is Michael Bergman, executive director of the Public Interest Law Initiative. Chief Judge David Hylla will present annual pro bono awards during the luncheon.
“The low-income residents of Madison County have an opportunity to speak to an attorney and find out what the law says and what to expect in court proceedings so that the experience of coming to court is more understandable thanks to the generosity of the lawyers in this circuit who generously donate their time to help,” said Judge Barb Crowder, chair of the Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee.
Madison County attorneys continue to provide free appointments in the Legal Advice Center in the Madison County courthouse. Twenty-five attorneys met with low-income individuals during July, August and September to answer their legal questions free of charge.
Third quarter 2015 legal advice clinic volunteers are: Brad Allen, Will Asa, Rob Bas, Beth Bauer, Brenda Baum, Erin Beavers, Shannon Bradford, Andrew Carruthers, Matthew Champlin, Joseph Hill, Christopher Hunter, Patrick King, Christine Kovach, Bonnie Levo, Ian Murphy, Terry O’Leary, Holly Reese, Amy Sholar, Randy Steele, Fredrick Steiger, Marleen Suarez, Christopher Threlkeld, Julie Tracy, Suzanne Vogel and Michael Wesley.
In addition, the pro bono committee started twice-monthly real estate assistance appointments for low-income individuals who need help in preparing documents. The real estate assistance is staffed by Recorder of Deeds Amy Meyer and is available by appointment.
The recognition luncheon is sponsored by the law firm of Gori Julian and Associates, the Illinois Bar Foundation, the Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, the Madison County Bar Association, the Public Interest Law Initiative and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. The luncheon is open to attorneys, court staff and the press.
The Pro Bono committee also provides free continuing legal education to the attorneys doing volunteer work. The committee appreciates both the lawyers doing the pro bono work and the lawyers donating their time to train others. Attorney Daniel Grueninger spoke on military pensions, Carrie Cohan described the services at the Madison County Child Advocacy Center and Leslie Wood outlined ethical issues for attorneys serving as guardians ad litem.
The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee reminds members of the public that free legal appointments to low-income members of the public who do not have attorneys are available by appointment on any legal subject except criminal law, including but not limited to subjects such as family law or areas such as debt collection, landlord tenant, small claims, or any other civil area of law. Those free appointments are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The free real estate clinic appointments are the second and fourth Wednesday morning of each month. All appointments are for those of limited incomes who do not have attorneys and qualifying information will need to be provided.
To make an appointment or to volunteer, call (618) 296-5921 or email Pro Bono Coordinator Angela Wille at firstname.lastname@example.org.