NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2023

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP - Chicago, Illinois

Pro Bono/Public Interest

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Pro Bono Contact

Pro Bono Contact Name Rachel Jennings
Pro Bono Contact Title Professional Development and Pro Bono Manager
Pro Bono Contact Phone 312-269-5225
Pro Bono Contact Email [email protected]
Is the pro bono information indicated here firm-wide or specific to one office? Firm-wide
% Firm Billable Hours last year
Average Hours per Attorney last year 42

Pro Bono Participation

Percent of associates participating last year 89
Percent of partners participating last year 67
Percent of other lawyers participating last year 50

Average hours

Average hours per associate last year 39
Average hours per partner last year 70
Average hours per other lawyer last year 18
What percentage of attorneys performed more than 20 hours? 37
What was the number of actual pro bono hours contributed by the organization in the prior calendar year? 5,917
Does the organization maintain a written pro bono policy that sets forth the organization's commitment to pro bono? Yes
How does the organization define what constitutes pro bono legal work?

Pro bono legal service includes the delivery of legal services or the provision of training without charge or expectation of a fee, including (a) legal services rendered to a person of limited means; (b) legal services to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, or educational organizations in matters designed to address the needs of persons of limited means; (c) legal services to charitable, religious, civic, or community organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes; and (d) training intended to benefit legal service organizations or lawyers who provide pro bono services.

Organization pro bono hours goals

Does the organization set annual goals regarding the minimum number of pro bono hours to be contributed by the organization? Yes
If yes, what is that annual goal? Average of 50 hours per attorney, firmwide

Attorney pro bono goals

Does the organization set individual attorney goals regarding the minimum number of pro bono hours to be contributed? Yes
If yes, what is that annual goal? 50 hours


Is an attorney's commitment to pro bono activity considered a favorable factor in advancement and compensation decisions? Yes
If yes, to what extent? Beyond contributing towards billable hours requirements, pro bono activity demonstrates a commitment to the firm and profession and often provides the experience associates need to develop certain core competencies.

Pro bono support services

Are full-time support services (word processing, online research Lexis/Westlaw, out of pocket costs) available for pro bono representation? Yes
If so, are there any limitations?

Extraordinary expenses require firm approval.

Are associates provided written evaluations of their work on pro bono matters? Yes
Does the organization employ one or more of the following structures to manage its pro bono program and to provide training and guidance to participating attorneys? (Check all that apply): An attorney who coordinates pro bono projects as an ancillary duty to other work
Pro Bono Committee
Other: Pro Bono Manager; Pro Bono Committee
How is pro bono work assigned/distributed?
  • Rather than creating a one-size-fits-all program that requires our attorneys to participate in a few approved activities, we offer our attorneys the freedom to choose pro bono assignments that reflect their own personal and professional motivations. In addition, the firm has preferred relationships with four non-profit organizations that provide a steady flow of diverse pro bono projects. We are active participants in the Chicago pro bono community and participate in a variety of citywide projects on matters such as access to justice, immigration and commitment to the arts. Associates and counsel may be assigned additional pro bono matters by partners as they would any other legal work.
If an attorney is permitted to bring a pro bono case for possible consideration by the firm, who makes decisions about whether the firm will handle the matter? (check all that apply) Other: Pro Bono Chair, Practice Group Leaders and Managing Partner

Enabling pro bono or public interest work

Does the organization provide any of the following to enable its attorneys to participate in pro bono activities or work in a public interest setting? (Check all that apply): Other: Fellowships for incoming associates
If so please describe

See below.

Summer associate pro bono opportunities

Are pro bono opportunities available for summer associates? Yes
Additional comments (Please use this space to provide any additional information about your organization's pro bono program including any special recognition or awards the organization has received for its pro bono work.)

Our Pro Bono Program benefits greatly from our strong relationships with the courts and legal aid community. We are proud to have participated in pilot programs that are models of court/bar cooperation to solve the access to justice gap. Several of our attorneys have received awards and recognition from courts and legal aid providers for particular pro bono matters. In addition, we were also recognized as a Pro Bono Leader by Equip for Equality for contributing hundreds of hours of legal service to staff an intake hotline to support Equip for Equality's Special Education Clinic and provide legal advice and assistance to parents of children with disabilities. Lawyers for the Creative Arts, The AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, the Law Center for Better Housing, Cabrini Green Legal Aid and CommunityHealth are among some of our partners who have each recognized our commitment to pro bono work.

What are some of the areas in which your organization has performed pro bono work in the past year?

The firm has performed work in the following areas: domestic violence, civil justice, AIDS research and supportive services, special education, non-profit formation and governance, civil rights, including Section 1983 and employment matters, intellectual property, bankruptcy, eviction and foreclosure defense, juvenile justice, criminal defense, and special immigration assistance.

Fellowship sponsorship

Does your organization sponsor split public interest summer and/or post-graduate fellowships? Yes
Public Interest Fellowship Comments

The firm has sponsored the Public Interest Law Initiative Graduate Fellowship Program, and has offered our incoming first-year associates the opportunity to work for local public interest agencies of their choice that will provide them exposure to the challenges and rewards of pro bono work.