Pro BonoPrint Page
At Chapman and Cutler, we believe that pro bono legal service provides an effective way for lawyers to broaden their legal skills while also supporting the many and varied communities to which we belong. Chapman strongly encourages its attorneys to honor the legal profession’s commitment to justice for all people by volunteering their legal know-how to organizations that serve the public interest and to disadvantaged individuals. We value our relationships with not-for-profit groups, communities, charities, and civic institutions, and we actively seek out and promote opportunities for involvement.
Who We Support
Our attorneys have volunteered with dozens of organizations, fought for many different causes, and helped countless individuals around the world, from neighborhoods across the US to villages in Africa. We are currently supporting a variety of organizations and individuals with pro bono legal service, including:
- American Bar Association Free Legal Answers
- Cabrini Green Legal Aid
- Center for Disability & Elder Law
- Chicago Community Loan Fund
- Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
- Global Alliance for Africa
- Illinois Legal Aid Online
- Legal Aid Chicago
- National Immigrant Justice Center
- Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago
- Wills for Heroes
Awards and Recognition
American Bar Association: Chapman and Cutler was recognized as an American Bar Association (ABA) Free Legal Answers Pro Bono Leader in both 2018 and 2019 for the work of our attorneys on behalf of the ABA Free Legal Answers program in Illinois. In addition to Chapman’s firmwide recognition, Associate and Pro Bono Counsel Sara Ghadiri was individually recognized by the ABA in both 2018 and 2019 for her work on behalf of Free Legal Answers.
Cabrini Green Legal Aid: Chapman and Cutler was named by Cabrini Green Legal Aid as the 2012 Volunteer Law Firm of the Year. Chapman attorneys have been actively involved with CGLA for over 20 years, and have provided hundreds of hours of pro bono work to CGLA clients.
Chicago Legal Clinic: Chapman and Cutler was honored by the Chicago Legal Clinic with the 2019 Pro Bono Service Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the clinic’s mission to provide community-based quality legal services and education to the underserved and disadvantaged.
Gads Hill: Gads Hill, a Chicago-based family resource and educational center, presented Chapman with the 2011 Corporate Partner Award. Chapman has supported Gads Hill since Theodore S. Chapman gave our first donation of $100 in 1922, and the Firm continues to be a regular supporter of Gads Hill through sponsorship, pro bono, and board activities. We are proud to be involved with an organization that does so much for so many.
Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago: Chapman and Cutler received the Corporate Hero Award from Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS) in 2009. NHS was a pro bono client of the Firm at the time of the award, and we are still doing pro bono work for it today. We were humbled to receive such an amazing award from a client that assists low-income families in Chicago.
Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI): Chapman and Cutler was named to the 2019 PILI Pro Bono Roster, recognizing law firms and corporate legal departments for inspiring and life-changing pro bono work performed by attorneys and legal professionals in Illinois. This is the sixth time Chapman has been named to the roster since the launch of the program.
Pro Bono Updates
- Pro BonoMay 2020
Chapman has joined the Chicago Bar Association’s Wills for Heroes: COVID-19 Essential Healthcare Workers program to provide estate planning services to individuals serving on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Pro BonoMay 2020
Representing a detained client during a pandemic is extraordinarily challenging, but Chapman attorneys Sara Ghadiri, Melanie Haywood, and Eric Silvestri with assistance from Finance Law Development Analyst Rachel Waddey and support from the detained team at National Immigrant Justice Center helped a survivor of severe domestic violence from Egypt obtain asylum.
- NewsMarch 25, 2020
Chapman Associate and Pro Bono Counsel Sara Ghadiri discussed her work with the Illinois Free Legal Answers program and assisting pro se litigants during the COVID-19 pandemic in an interview with the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
- Pro BonoMarch 2020
For the second consecutive year, Chapman is proud to be recognized as an American Bar Association Free Legal Answers Pro Bono Leader for the work of our attorneys in 2019 on behalf of the ABA Free Legal Answers program. Associate and Pro Bono Counsel Sara Ghadiri was individually recognized for her work on behalf of the program.
- Pro BonoFebruary 2020
Chapman attorneys Sara Ghadiri and Eric Straughn assisted at the Public Interest Law Initiative's Legal Prep Community Law Clinic in Chicago’s Garfield Park neighborhood, interviewing four individuals to answer their immediate legal questions and putting them on the path toward getting free representation.
- Pro BonoJanuary 2020
Chapman served as pro bono counsel to Children’s Rights to advocate for and protect vulnerable children in its recent amicus brief in support of plaintiff-appellees.
- Pro BonoDecember 2019
Chapman pro bono efforts have resulted in Immigration and Customs Enforcement granting parole to two women, both victims of torture for their involvement in the Anglophone separatist movement in Cameroon.
- Pro BonoNovember 2019
Attorneys and legal professionals from BMO Financial Group and Chapman are partnering with the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the Chicago Council of Lawyers to study the extent to which tenant eviction proceedings are being conducted across the US without a record and comparing the differences between those unrecorded proceedings and recorded proceedings.
- Pro BonoSeptember 2019
Chapman is serving as pro bono counsel to Children’s Rights to advocate for and protect vulnerable children in a recent amicus brief. On September 27, a district court issued a favorable ruling, and Judge Dolly Gee tracked arguments made in Children’s Rights’ brief.
- Pro BonoSeptember 2019
Chapman is serving as pro bono counsel to Children’s Rights to advocate for and protect vulnerable children in its most recent amicus brief.
- Pro BonoAugust 2019
Chris Massie, an associate in Chapman’s Public and Institutional Banking & Finance Group, is the recipient of the firm’s 2018 Pro Bono and Volunteer Achievement Award for his leadership and contributions to pro bono projects.
- RecognitionJune 2019
For the sixth time, Chapman was named to the 2019 PILI Pro Bono Roster, recognizing law firms and corporate legal departments for inspiring and life-changing pro bono work performed by attorneys and legal professionals in Illinois.
- Pro BonoMay 2019
Chapman attorneys David Batty, Kimberly Bischoff, Will Petraglia, Sara Ghadiri, and Eric Manor volunteered at the Charlotte Fire Department Headquarters for a Wills for Heroes clinic.
- RecognitionMay 14, 2019
Chapman was honored by the Chicago Legal Clinic with the 2019 Pro Bono Service Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the clinic’s mission to provide community-based quality legal services and education to the underserved and disadvantaged.
- Pro BonoMay 2019
Attorneys from Chapman's San Francisco office participated in the Legal First Responders kick off event. Legal First Responders is a program of Legal Access Alameda.
- RecognitionMay 2019
Chapman Associate and Pro Bono Counsel Sara Ghadiri was named to the 2019 class of The Outstanding Young Persons of Illinois by the Illinois Jaycees — Sara was the only honoree this year in the category of political, legal, and/or government affairs.
- Pro BonoApril 2019
Chapman attorneys recently partnered with attorneys and legal professionals from BMO Financial Group (through their Pro Bono program) to draft renewal paperwork for individuals whose Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is up for renewal.
- RecognitionJanuary 29, 2019
Chapman is proud to be recognized as an American Bar Association (ABA) Free Legal Answers 2018 Pro Bono Leader for our attorneys work on behalf of the ABA Free Legal Answers program in Illinois.
- Pro BonoDecember 2018
For the past two years, Chapman attorneys have collaborated with Illinois Legal Aid Online’s (ILAO) Free Legal Answers Program. This month we reached a milestone, answering more than 500 legal questions and helping Illinois residents faced with major life challenges.
- Pro BonoNovember 2018
On November 16, attorneys at Chapman partnered with attorneys and legal professionals from BMO Financial Group (through their Pro Bono program) to draft renewal paperwork for individuals whose Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was up for renewal.