The court expresses its gratitude to the Legal Assistance Foundation's attorneys who provided volunteer legal assistance through the Pro Se Help Desk in 2017 and also to the members of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Volunteer Panel who accepted pro bono appointments in 2017.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois has formed a panel of volunteer attorneys to represent indigent parties on a pro bono basis in discrete adversary proceedings and contested matters.

The program is administered by the Bankruptcy Court with support and assistance from the Bankruptcy Court Liaison Committee and the Chicago Bar Association Bankruptcy and Reorganization Committee.

Judges of the court are responsible for identifying matters in which a party (generally a debtor, but occasionally a creditor) appears to qualify and would benefit from representation. When a suitable matter is identified, the judge notifies the clerk of the court. The clerk then contacts a panel member to obtain representation.

The program is limited strictly to representation in adversary proceedings and contested matters. No panel member is expected to file a bankruptcy case, complete schedules and similar forms, or attend a meeting of creditors.

The program is also voluntary. Panel members are never required to accept representation in a particular matter and may decline a request for representation because of a conflict of interest or for any other reason.

Attorneys may join the panel by completing and submitting to the clerk’s office the questionnaire available at this link:

Volunteer panel questionnaire

The Bankruptcy Court encourages members of the bar to participate in this worthwhile program. Through the volunteer panel, attorneys have a real opportunity to improve the quality of justice in our district.