We encourage associates to fulfill their professional obligation to provide legal services to the community by performing pro bono work.
Our Pro Bono Committee monitors these excellent learning experiences, often pairing newer associates with more senior and experienced associates or shareholders. Associates may receive up to 30 hours of chargeable credit for performing pro bono work.
Recent Vedder Price pro bono activities include:
Chicago Bar Foundation's Adoption Assistance Program. We devote a significant amount of our pro bono effort to this program, which serves families that wish to adopt a child under the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Since 1998, our attorneys, summer associates and legal assistants have handled numerous cases each year. For example, in our first full year of involvement, we handled 50 of 111 adoption cases processed by the Foundation. Many of these 111 cases involved multiple adoptions, resulting in the adoption of 181 children. In addition, we developed a manual to assist in case handling and make it possible for more attorneys to participate in the program.
In recognition of his efforts to lead Vedder Price attorneys in helping indigent persons adopt children to promote a stable family environment, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) chose Vedder Price Shareholder Daniel O'Rourke for a Distinguished Service Award.
Northwestern University's Bluhm Legal Clinic. The Children’s Law Pro Bono Project of the Children and Family Justice Center of Northwestern University School of Law's Bluhm Legal Clinic honored Vedder Price Shareholder Michael Mulcahy for his tireless efforts to represent juveniles in delinquency and school expulsion cases.
In addition, the Children’s Law Pro Bono Project honored Vedder Price attorneys who have volunteered their time to provide legal representation to children who are often neglected, abused or delinquent.
Public Interest Law Initiative Recognition. Vedder Price is a proud recipient of the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Pro Bono Initiative Honor Roll Award. For more than 27 years, PILI has been creating opportunities for law students and lawyers to provide public-interest work in Chicago. The organization’s Pro Bono Initiative Program engages law firms and corporate legal departments in pro bono projects.
Criminal Appeals. Our litigators assist with the backlog of pro bono appellate matters, handling several cases annually; for example, one case resulting in a decision that the trial judge had failed to inform the pro se defendant of her right to counsel.
Other. Our attorneys also provide pro bono legal services to such organizations as Lawyers for the Creative Arts, the Chicago Community Loan Fund, AIDS Legal Council of Chicago and the Anti-Defamation League.