PBCSI kicked off the week with a panel discussion about handling pro bono cases while working in a law firm. The panelists, all of whom have extensive pro bono records, included Peter Hah, Senior Associate at Reed Smith, Linda Bryceland, Of Counsel at Law Offices of Donald G. Olsen, Colby Kingsbury, Partner at Faeger Baker & Daniels LLP, and Folarin Dosunmu, Senior Associate at Neal Wolf & Associates, LLC
Dean Gregory Mark also participated in Pro Bono Week. He visited A.N. Pritzker Elementary School and taught two Lawyers in the Classroom lessons on the U.S. Constitution to a 7th and 8th grade class. The first lesson discussed the meaning and application of the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard and the second lesson analyzed a hypothetical school board ordinance banning electronic devices in schools. The dean co-taught the lessons with DePaul law students, Sam Keen, Class of 2014, and Brittani King, Class of 2015. DePaul law students volunteer at Pritzker on a regular basis and assist with tutoring, school beautification projects, a school supply drive, and the Science and History Fairs.
PBCSI ended Pro Bono Week with its third annual October Donate-A-Day project with the Center for Disability & Elder Law. For this project, DePaul law students, alumni and faculty worked in teams to prepare advanced directives, such as living wills and powers of attorney for property and health care, for low-income seniors residing at CHA’s West Point Plaza high-rise on Chicago’s near west side.
Before the workshop with the seniors began, The Center for Disability & Elder Law’s Chief Legal Officer, Tom Wendt, and DePaul alumna, Lacey Burpee, provided training on advanced directives in Illinois. Then, after a lunch break, the volunteers split up into teams to work directly with the West Point Plaza residents. The volunteer day lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with nearly twenty volunteers assisting twelve seniors. The volunteers found the pro bono day meaningful and fun. According to PBCSI Director, Cheryl Price, “our pro bono day with the Center for Disability & Elder Law allowed our law students to get first-hand experience working with clients, while providing an important service. It was also a nice opportunity for our alumni to give back to the community. It was a great way to end Pro Bono Week.”