Since the firm’s founding in 1984, Barack Ferrazzano has encouraged its members to contribute to pro bono legal efforts. Our Pro Bono Committee defines goals for the program and identifies pro bono opportunities for professionals and staff.
The firm is affiliated with several pro bono non-profit organizations, including the Public Interest Law Initiative (one of our partners is a member of the Board of Directors). Barack Ferrazzano also is a charter member of The Chicago Bar Foundation Law Firm Leadership Circle, which is dedicated to supporting pro bono legal assistance to those in need.
The firm encourages participation by giving attorneys and paralegals up to 100 hours per year of billable hour credit for work on a wide variety of pro bono matters, including:
Guardianship of Children
The firm handles guardian ad litem cases through Chicago Volunteer Legal Services in which attorneys are assigned to help determine and advocate for the best interest of the minor child in contested guardianship cases. After interviewing the involved parties, including the child, and gathering relevant information about the situation, the firm prepares a report of findings to be presented to a probate court. Barack Ferrazzano lawyers also appear in court on the child’s behalf.
Through the National Immigrant Justice Center, we represent those who seek asylum in the United States as they flee persecution and terrible circumstances in their home country, but who have no means and little understanding of the necessary process, with a special focus on matters involving minors. We also consult with the NIJC regarding immigrant detention policies.
The firm represents pro bono clients through litigation in other forums as well. We handle appellate cases before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, a Barack Ferrazzano bankruptcy partner collaborated with a Bankruptcy Court judge to create a pro bono program to represent debtors who are unable to afford counsel.
Veterans’ Benefit Claims
Our firm works closely with the Veterans’ Rights Project of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, representing veterans in appeals of denials of benefits by the Veterans Administration. Our firm has established a fund at the LAF to pay for medical examinations for veterans who need an outside medical opinion regarding the nature and extent of their injury and its consequences.