Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, February 24, 2020

Pro bono forum will give attorneys chance to offer free legal services for civil matters

By Charmaine Little | Oct 22, 2018

Michael Bergmann |

Local attorneys have an opportunity to assist the community at no cost.

While legal representation is a lawful mandate in criminal matters, the same doesn’t hold true for civil issues such as domestic violence, discrimination, eviction and divorce. 

The Twentieth Judicial Circuit Forum on Pro Bono, hosted by the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, lawyers will offer their services for civil matters such as this and forfeit any payment. The event, which hopes to prompt attorneys to give their services and show them impactful ways to do it, is also co-sponsored by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.

The event will also feature legal professionals such as representatives from law firms, the judiciary, and legal aid nonprofits to talk about solutions for the need of civil representation that has yet to be fulfilled.

“Our hope is that attendees of the program leave feeling inspired to provide more legal,” said Associate Judge Judge Julie Katz. She also serves as chair of the committee. 

“For many facing difficult legal challenges, a pro bono attorney might be the only way they will receive access to justice.”

Katz, along with Michael Bergmann of the PILI and Land of Lincoln’s Stacy Campbell, will sit on a panel to discuss how the legal professionals in the community came come together to meet needs. After the panel, the event will host multiple small group discussions to raise the issues that come along with offering free services, best ways to execute it, and various methods on widening the scope of pro bono services.

The event is available for all attorneys in the area, and will be held at the Regency Conference Center, located at 400 Regency Park in O’Fallon, on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 3-6 p.m.

Those who attend will receive two hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credit as well as an invitation to the reception after the program.

For more information, log on to Those interested can also contact PILI Executive Director Michael Bergmann at or 312-832-5129.

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Organizations in this Story

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation