FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I volunteer with PBN in my capacity as an attorney if I am not licensed in Illinois?
Yes. Attorneys who are registered in another state or whose registration status is inactive or retired can volunteer. In these cases, PBN helps get you approved with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) to do pro bono service through accredited agencies. All of the agencies we partner with are accredited.
Can you help me with my legal problem?
Unfortunately not. We partner with other legal aid agencies to expand their existing programs. Our volunteer attorneys work with pre-enrolled clients that these other agencies send to us. While we cannot provide legal help to individuals who contact us directly, we are glad to share info about other legal aid agencies that may be able to help.
How can I support PBN if I am not an attorney or interpreter?
You can sign up for our newsletter, follow us on social media, tell others about our work, and make a donation to help grow our mission. Also, while most of our volunteers are attorneys, we also offer non-attorney volunteer opportunities. Also, we love to hear your ideas about how we can help others.
Why does PBN ask for donations if attorneys are unpaid volunteers?
Most of our attorneys would not be volunteering if PBN did not exist. We remove barriers to legal volunteerism by working to make it convenient and practical. PBN provides multiple and varied legal programs from which to choose and offers training, mentoring, partnerships, support, and no pressure. While our model does rely on volunteers, it also requires infrastructure and administration. We operate efficiently and with lean margins so that we meet our mission of transforming lives by increasing access to legal representation.
As a volunteer attorney, can I take a case even if I do not have a background in a particular field of law?
Yes. PBN provides everything you need to volunteer, even if you have never worked in the relevant subject area before. We have training programs, manuals, samples, templates, subject matter experts, and so much more.
How can I get started volunteering?
We make it easy! Visit our volunteer webpage, fill out an application, and someone from PBN will email you with the next steps.
Do you need to volunteer a certain number of hours per year for PBN?
No. We have a variety of types of volunteer opportunities and levels of time commitment. Volunteer attorneys can work with as many or as few clients or programs as they wish. We will provide you with a menu of opportunities, and you can decide what will fit your circumstances best.
What if I can’t make the boot camp training offered for each program?
Training is recorded and kept in a library for volunteers to access at any time. Training manuals and sample documents are also available in the library, and our program managers and staff are happy to talk with you to get you up to speed.