A pro bono (from the Latin meaning ‘the public good’) lawyer or volunteer lawyer is one that offers their services for all or a portion of a legal case at no cost to a client and without charging any fee for their services. They are different from lawyers that work for a legal aid organization who provide free legal representation as they are funded by others to handle cases for eligible clients.
In ethical terms, all lawyers have a professional responsibility to offer legal services to those that cannot pay for them and the American Bar Association states that lawyers should aspire to provide at least 50 hours of pro bono services annually. There is a strong tradition of pro bono lawyers in Illinois offering their services for free for worthwhile cases or for clients that have no other means of defending themselves or receiving justice. A search of the internet will return a list of lawyers that do pro bono legal work in Illinois.