What Do Pumpkin Spice Spam, Avril Lavigne, and Titanic Have in Common? Pro Bono Week!

A2J w/Angela by Angela Inzano, CBF Director of Advocacy & Engagement

Well, it is that time of year again. No, not election season, I’m pretty sure that is every time of year now.

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No, along with pumpkin spice everything and the leaves changing color, each year we can always count on celebrating pro bono during the last week in October through the CBA/CBF annual Pro Bono Week!

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This year, Pro Bono Week in Chicago turns 15th, prime teenage angst years.

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Now a national celebration, we all have a right to be pretty proud that it started here in Chicago, and all of you in the CBA Young Lawyers Section should be particularly proud that this is the 26th annual Pro Bono & Community Service Fair (well past the time that teen angst is appropriate unless you’re Avril Lavigne).

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This year’s Pro Bono Week is all about connecting with communities and is co-chaired by the dynamic duo of Judge Nichole Patton from the Circuit Court of Cook County and Kate Shank from Legal Aid Chicago.

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There’s something for everyone in this week’s lineup of events and we hope that you’ll come to one of them and find a pro bono opportunity that is right for you.

Monday, October 21st is a unique, highly interactive, CLE program run by the folks over at Baker McKenzie. You’re asked to embody the role of a young person navigating the justice system, complete a series of tasks in that role, and reflect on your experience. A great way to put yourself in the shoes of someone you might serve as a pro bono attorney.

Tuesday, October 22nd is one of my favorite events all year, a justice-themed story slam, complete with Revolution beer and snacks. Every year the brave among us who get up to tell a story outdo themselves with stories that make us laugh, cry, and inspire us. Come join in or just enjoy as a listener!

Wednesday, October 23rd is the Fair, mentioned earlier, and it is a fantastic way to get to know new legal aid and pro bono organizations or to deepen your existing connections with them. We’re grateful, as always, to our gracious hosts over at Skadden!

On Thursday, October 24th join us for your own “Breakfast Club” and learn about all the creative and unique ways that legal aid and pro bono attorneys are serving people in neighborhoods across Chicago, not just downtown. A must-attend if you are interested in giving back closer to home.

Last, but not least, on Friday, October 25th learn about the ever-changing immigration landscape and what you can do to help our immigrant neighbors here in Chicago.

As always, if you can’t make it to Pro Bono Week, or are looking for more opportunities to get involved, check out the CBF’s Online Pro Bono Opportunities Guide to filter for how you can help, who you can help, and what you can do to help.

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As for me, I’m bummed to be missing out on the pro bono fun this year. Remember that clever fiancé from my previous column? Well, we’re finally making it official this weekend, and we’ll be off on our honeymoon during Pro Bono Week. So, to be fair, I guess I’m not entirely bummed, as I’ll be reciting every line from Titanic on our cruise. What could go wrong?

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About the Author:

HeadshotAngela Inzano is the Director 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.

Angela successfully completed the Chicago Marathon in 2012, enjoys traveling as well as politics, and is a novice “foodie.”

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