FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lisa Colpoys, Executive Director
Illinois Legal Aid Online
PRO BONO ON THE GO: NEW MOBILE PLATFORM SUPPORTS LEGAL VOLUNTEERS IN ILLINOIS
Illinois is the first state to develop an app for pro bono legal services
CHICAGO, IL, – Illinois Legal Aid Online launched a new mobile phone application that encourages and supports the work of volunteer attorneys in conjunction with National Pro Bono Week, October 24 – 28. Illinois, a national leader in applying technology to the delivery of free legal services, is the first state to launch a free mobile application for pro bono attorneys.
The Illinois Pro Bono Mobile App, released for Apple iOs and Android devices, delivers training and practice support to legal professionals with smart phones and tablets who volunteer for legal services providers. The app leverages some of IllinoisProBono.org’s resources to make them more accessible and easier to use on mobile devices.
“Legal professionals have a distinct responsibility to use their specialized skills for the betterment of our communities. I am thrilled to be involved in this year’s Pro Bono Week, and I am especially pleased with the notion of 'Kindness to Strangers,' this week’s theme, which resonated to me in this era,” said Carrie Di Santo, Vice President and Global Chief Compliance Officer of Aon Corporation in Chicago and Co-Chair of Chicago’s Seventh Annual Pro Bono Week. “The Illinois Pro Bono Mobile App makes it easy for those of us in the corporate sector and at law firms who want to give back to those in most need of our services.”
Mobile apps are becoming an increasingly critical means for delivering information as smart phone usage is exploding. MobiLens data from comScore found that 72.5 million people in the U.S. owned smart phones by March 2011, up 15% from the preceding three-month period.
“Continuing advances in technology have made it possible for pro bono and legal aid organizations to serve many more clients as well as to more effectively support pro bono attorneys,” said Bob Glaves, Executive Director of The Chicago Bar Foundation. “With mobile technology now becoming the norm for most lawyers, there are even greater possibilities.”
Glaves added: “Illinois Legal Aid Online has been a leader in using technology to facilitate pro bono and improve access to justice, and their new mobile apps are a great addition to their lineup of resources.”
The Illinois Pro Bono Mobile App gives attorneys, law students, and paralegals instantaneous access to a statewide database of volunteer opportunities, a calendar of MCLE trainings and community events, and comprehensive legal reference guides. The app’s legal resources include in-depth guides on discrete areas of civil law, including advanced directives, mortgage foreclosure, divorce and custody, and more.
Julie E. LaEace, Kirkland & Ellis LLP Firmwide Pro Bono Manager, said: “Pro bono service provides substantial benefits to the communities in which we live. With the Illinois Pro Bono App, attorneys will be better able to gain practice opportunities, experience and personal satisfaction in working for the public good.”
Earlier this month Illinois Legal Aid Online released the Illinois Legal Aid Mobile App for lower-income residents with legal problems. The app provides zip code-based referrals to local legal services programs, including county-based legal self-help centers, and free, plain language legal information for the most common legal problems.
For more information about the Illinois Pro Bono Mobile App, see http://illinoisprobono.org/apps.
About Illinois Legal Aid Online
Illinois Legal Aid Online is a nationally-recognized, groundbreaking statewide technology center for legal services. Since 2001, ILAO has put the law within reach for lower-income Illinois residents by developing technology and information to increase access to justice. For more information, please visit www.IllinoisLegalAidOnline.org.
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