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Over 250 attorneys and law students visited Jenner & Block’s Chicago office on Thursday for the Chicago Bar Association’s 11th annual Pro Bono and Public Service Fair. The fair, co-sponsored by the CBA’s Young Lawyers Section, Jenner & Block, Exelon Corporation, and the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), brought together nearly 50 pro bono clinics, public service organizations and mentoring programs reaching out to attorneys and law students seeking pro bono opportunities or other ways to volunteer their time to the community.
“Jenner & Block is proud to have hosted this very special event,” said Partner Jeffrey D. Colman, President of the Chicago Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Chicago Bar Association, and one of the organizers of the event. “Walking around the fair, there were a great number of extraordianarily wonderful organizations and it was great to see so many attorneys signing up to volunteer.”
Jenner & Block Of Counsel Benjamin K. Miller, former Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, also addressed the gathering and recalled how he always stressed the importance of pro bono service to attorneys while he served on the bench. “That’s part of the reason I eventually came to work at Jenner & Block, where the commitment to public service is so strong,” he said.
According to the participants, the event appeared to be an unqualified success.
“We were able to connect with a number of young attorneys looking for pro bono projects,” said Miriam Seitz from the Center for Elder and Disability Law, one of the many organizations at the fair. “This event was a unique opportunity to talk with volunteer lawyers from across the city all at once.”
“If you were looking to volunteer your time as an attorney in Chicago, this event was the place to be,” said Associate Meghan C. Morrissey. She said that she was introduced to several charitable organizations at the event that she otherwise may not have encountered.