Honoring pro bono attorneys
Attorneys are often maligned by the public. Jokes can be easy to make and are oftentimes even funny. As in all professions, a few bad apples often form public opinion. It thus may come as a surprise to many there are a significant number of lawyers who not only care, but also donate their time and services without compensation. A goodly portion come from our own community.
I know. As a retired local judge, I have among other things taken a position as volunteer pro bono coordinator for Prairie State Legal Services in Ottawa. For the five counties of LaSalle, Grundy, Lee, Bureau and Putnam, I try to obtain private volunteer attorneys for those low-income persons the local office cannot handle.
Prairie State in Ottawa has two full-time attorneys. They are Donald Dirks and Jean Fletcher. There is a fantastic non-lawyer staff of three others. I mention all of these people now because they deserve recognition. They are Jane Berry, Chris Weygand and Amanda Abens.