How We Work

PBN partners with existing legal aid agencies to expand or adapt pro bono programs to provide a variety of volunteer opportunities that mesh with the various work-life balances of our volunteers.

 

To that end, PBN:

  • Teams with legal aid agencies that provide training in the Chicago suburbs or online;

  • Adopts projects of varying durations, including projects that can be completed within a few hours on the same day to more traditional projects that may last over an expanded time frame of weeks or months;

  • Pairs attorneys on projects to ensure back up when the inevitable sick child or other emergency situation arises; and

  • Works with agencies that provide malpractice coverage for volunteers.​

 

We work closely with the legal aid agency to keep projects running smoothly for our volunteers. We assist with supervising, mentoring, administrative matters, troubleshooting, and ongoing training.

Impact

Since its inception in early 2011, PBN has grown to more than 250 attorneys and 20 translators who have clocked thousands of hours helping:

  • Victimized, undocumented persons apply for legal residency;

  • Seniors execute powers of attorney for health care and property;

  • Domestic violence victims obtain orders of protection;

  • Tenants resolve disputes with landlords;

  • Incarcerated mothers secure guardianships, benefits, and other necessities for their children;

  • Individuals appeal the denial of Social Security benefits; and

  • Individuals obtain a fresh start by expunging convictions for nonviolent offenses.

 

Attorneys have also taught hundreds of Chicago public school children about the US Constitution, provided legal availability on election day, and, among other projects, helped register high school seniors to vote.

 

And we have done all this while still chaperoning our children's field trips, enjoying retirement, or earning a living in our paying gigs.