Post authored by Angela Inzano
I don’t know about you, but to me it feels like every other week there is a new superhero blockbuster movie being released. We love our superheroes and super-heroines – we love to see them fight injustice and win.
As lawyers and legal professionals, we have our own superpowers, though we might not realize it. Our skills and expertise can literally save lives, even if we do it in a suit rather than a cape.
I’m no superhero expert, but there are three common themes I’ve noticed that apply to becoming a pro bono superhero as well:
1. Cool Gadgets: Wonder Woman has her lasso of truth, Spiderman can shoot webs from his wrist, and Ironman is essentially just a rich guy with gadgets as far as I can tell (that is sure to get me some angry messages).
As of this month, you have a cool new high-tech gadget to use too as you prepare for pro bono superhero status! Check out the new Online Pro Bono Opportunities Guide that launched earlier this month, which is a joint initiative between the Chicago Bar Foundation and Paladin, a legal tech startup.
This is the next generation version of the CBF’s long-time print pro bono guide and is a dynamic statewide resource that allows users to sort through over 100 pro bono opportunities by area of law, type of client, or scope of work. The new site will also allow legal aid and pro bono organizations to update and add content in real-time to ensure that this is always the most current and comprehensive listing of pro bono opportunities in Illinois.
2. Bat Signal/Call to Action: Batman looks to the sky to know when he is needed in Gotham. I’ve always wondered – what happens if it is bad weather for projecting?
Here in Chicago, rain or shine, you can find out where you are most needed by attending a Pro Bono Week event next week, October 22nd-26th. Pro Bono Week started right here in Chicago and is now in its 14th year. This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Power of Pro Bono,” perfect for discovering the superhero in you!
All lawyers and legal professionals are invited to register to attend any of the events throughout the week:
- Monday, October 22
Voting Access Chicago
Voting is everyone’s superpower, and anyone is welcome to sign up and be trained for this non-partisan Election Day volunteer opportunity to make sure that people with disabilities can participate fully in the democratic process.
- Tuesday, October 23
Justice: An Evening of Stories and Community
Some people’s superpower is storytelling. Find out if it is yours, or just enjoy hearing others tell their justice-related story over a Revolution beer.
- Wednesday, October 24
Addressing the Hidden Impact of Evictions
When we say that your pro bono work can have a life-changing impact, eviction representation is a prime example of how your help can change the trajectory of a person’s life, their families, and their communities.
- Thursday, October 25
25th Annual Pro Bono & Community Service Fair
Still not sure what your superpower is? Find out at the Fair by meeting 40+ legal aid, community service, and mentoring organizations that are all looking for you to join their Justice League and help them save the day.
- Friday, October 26
Breakfast with Judges
Robes might be the closest our profession has to a superhero cape. Learn more about how the bar and the bench can work together toward equal access to justice.
3. A Good Sidekick: Every great superhero needs someone to have their back when the going gets tough.
Here at the CBF, we’re happy to be your pro bono sidekick any time. Throw up the bat signal and let us know if you need help finding the right pro bono fit for your time, skills, and expertise. Our spidey senses can help get you on the right track to discovering your superpower within.
In other words…by our powers combined…it’s morphin’ time!
For more information or questions about anything mentioned in this post, call or email Angela Inzano (firstname.lastname@example.org; 312-554-4952).
- New Online Pro Bono Opportunities Guide
- The CBA and CBF Celebrate the Power of Pro Bono October 22–26
- A2J with Angela: Don’t Throw Away Your Shot
About the Author:
Angela Inzano is the Senior Manager of Advocacy and Engagement at the Chicago Bar Foundation. Since 2015, Angela has managed the day-to-day operation of the CBF Legal Aid Academy and the CBF Pro Bono Support Program, and assists with the CBF’s legislative and policy advocacy work. Angela also staffs the CBF’s Young Professionals Board, the CBA’s Legal Aid Committee, and supervises CBF interns.
Prior to joining the CBF, Angela was a Staff Attorney and the Policy Project Coordinator at The Family Defense Center. Prior to the FDC, Angela was a Public Interest Fellow at Lambda Legal. Angela earned her law and undergraduate degrees from Loyola University Chicago. While at Loyola Law, she was involved in the school’s Life After Innocence and Civitas Child Law clinics and served as a fellow at its Center for the Human Rights of Children.