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State Pro Bono Legal Services Award


Photo by Marisa Wiesman at Praire State Legal Services

We have had a lot of news to share lately. We are sorry for filling up space with all of it, but we are proud of our attorneys and staff, and they things have have done and are doing in the legal profession and community as a whole. Prairie State Legal Services recently nominated the Drendel & Jansons Law group for the State Pro Bono Legal Services Award, given out by the Illinois State Bar Association, and the ISBA chose the Drendel & Jansons Law group to receive the Award in the small firm category.

We are honored and humbled to receive it. We feel that there are many firms throughout the State, and in our own Fox Valley area, which would be deserving of the award. While attorneys are often misunderstood, sometimes maligned and very often the butt of derogatory jokes, the Code of Professional Conduct that instructs and guides the practice of law states clearly and prominently the professional standard that accompanies the license to practice law and the duty that attaches to the privilege of being an officer of the court includes a commitment to the delivery of legal services to people who cannot afford to may for them:

It is … the responsibility of those licensed as officers of the court to use their training, experience, and skills to provide services in the public interest for which compensation may not be available. It is the responsibility of those who manage law firms to create an environment that is hospitable to the rendering of a reasonable amount of uncompensated service by lawyers practicing in that firm. Service in the public interest may take many forms. These include but are not limited to pro bono representation of persons unable to pay for legal services and assistance in the organized bar’s efforts at law reform.

This commitment to the delivery of legal services to the under-served and underprivileged members of our community is an integral component of the overarching standard that attorneys are expected to meet. We should not be extraordinary in our efforts to live up to that standard. the Kane County Bar Association, of which we are proudly members, does an exemplary job in holding that standard up as an expectation for all members. Organizations like Prairie State Legal Services, Administer Justice and others are on the front line of providing access to the judicial system to those who can afford it least, and they depend on the charity, kindness and commitment of private attorneys to make that happen.