The Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) on October 17 will honor volunteers and law firms for their pro bono work at the three civil legal aid programs in Illinois funded by LSC. The Board also will present a service award on October 18 to the law firm of DLA Piper and Lee I. Miller, the firm’s joint chief executive officer and partner, for providing professional and administrative support to the Board’s Pro Bono Task Force.
Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit will be the keynote speaker at the October 17 reception. Judge Wood, who was appointed to the Seventh Circuit in 1995, is also a senior lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School.
“Volunteer attorneys make significant contributions to our Illinois legal aid programs, providing essential civil legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, victims of elder abuse, individuals with disabilities, families at risk of losing their homes, veterans with benefit problems and others,” LSC Board Chairman John G. Levi said. “These volunteers donate time and services, helping LSC programs to better serve their communities. We greatly appreciate that Judge Wood will be with us to help us honor these volunteers.”
The Pro Bono Service Award recipients are:
John Held, partner at McAndrews, Held & Molloy, who volunteers at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, focusing on elderly clients, including victims of predatory lending.
Malou Roth, a retired human resources executive, who provides management training to supervisors and executive directors for a number of legal aid organizations, including the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation and Prairie State Legal Services.
Russell Scott, senior litigation officer at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale and manager of the firm’s Southern Illinois Practice Group, for his more than 25 years of pro bono representation and service on the Board of Directors and as president of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.
Eugenia Hunter, a lawyer in Carbondale, Illinois, for her longtime pro bono work with Land of Lincoln, where she specializes in bankruptcy cases.
Rory T. Weiler, a partner at Weiler and Lengle, for his pro bono work at Prairie State Legal Services, including his representation of victims of domestic violence.
Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, which has dedicated a pro bono coordinator to work with Prairie State Legal Services and is in the seventh year of an ongoing commitment to provide attorneys for family law matters, including domestic violence cases.
At a luncheon on October 18, the Board will honor DLA Piper and its Joint Chief Executive Officer Lee I. Miller for their significant generosity in supporting the Board’s Pro Bono Task Force, which held its first meeting on August 1 at the Harvard Law School. DLA’s support includes providing a consultant and in providing coordination and research for the Task Force and its five working committees. Lisa Dewey, pro bono partner at DLA Piper, is serving as the consultant to the Task Force.
The Task Force “will identify and recommend to the Board new and innovative ways in which to promote and enhance pro bono initiatives throughout the country, including urban areas, rural areas and areas with underserved populations,” the Board said in a resolution approving the formation of the Task Force.
LSC is the single largest funder of civil legal assistance in the nation. LSC operates as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that receives an annual appropriation from Congress to promote equal access to justice and to provide for the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families. About 95 percent of the appropriation is distributed as grants to 136 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.