Author: The Chicago Bar Foundation
Last updated: August 2013
Amendments to Illinois Supreme Court Rules 716 and 756, effective April 8, 2013, continue to increase the ranks of attorneys who can provide critical pro bono legal services in Illinois. Building on 2008 amendments that for the first time allowed retired, inactive and corporate counsel to perform pro bono service in Illinois, the 2013 amendments make it possible for all attorneys, even those licensed in other states, to provide pro bono legal services in Illinois. Relevant forms are located on the ARDC's website.
Attorneys with limited admission status under Rule 716 are authorized to provide pro bono legal services in Illinois without any additional registration or other pro bono-specific requirements. House counsel admitted under Rule 716 no longer are required to register pro bono participation with the ARDC or work with a partner organization.
Attorneys who are licensed in another state, but not in Illinois, may provide pro bono service in Illinois so long as they do the following: (1) file a registration form with the ARDC; (2) work with an approved sponsoring entity (such as a legal aid organization or law clinic); (3) complete any training required by the sponsoring entity; and (4) annually register with the ARDC ongoing participation in a pro bono program.
Illinois attorneys who are registered as retired or inactive may also provide pro bono legal services so long as they do the following: (1) file a registration form with the ARDC; (2) work with an approved sponsoring entity (such as a legal aid organization or law clinic); (3) complete any training required by the sponsoring entity; and (4) annually register with the ARDC ongoing participation in a pro bono program.
Under the Rule, a sponsoring entity is “a not-for-profit legal services organization, governmental entity, law school clinical program or a bar association providing pro bono services.” Sponsoring entities must do the following: (1) submit an application to the ARDC describing the organization’s pro bono program in which attorneys covered under Rule 756 may participate; (2) certify that the organization will provide appropriate training and support to pro bono attorneys; (3) provide malpractice insurance to pro bono attorneys; and (4) notify the ARDC if the organization discontinues participation in the program. A list of sponsoring entities is included below.
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