Pro Bono Program & Clinic

Develop Practice-Ready Skills Serving the Chicago Community

Committed to public service, John Marshall’s Pro Bono Program & Clinic students provide legal services to clients who cannot afford or otherwise obtain legal services. Students are supervised at all times by licensed attorneys and must have completed the 1L curriculum (30 credit hours). Participating students will become practice-ready working directly with clients on real cases. Experiences available to Pro Bono Program & Clinic students include:

Pro Bono Clinic (JD 018, 1-4 Credits)

Note: Online registration for JD 018 is not available. Students must manually register for this course with Director Damian Ortiz.

Pro Bono Clinic students enrolled in Sections 1-3 earn class credit while representing clients and conducting intake interviews in a variety of practice areas, including but not limited to human trafficking, landlord/tenant, civil rights, police misconduct, foreclosure defense, small claims, actual innocence, prisoner's rights, and breach of contract. Students in Section 4 can register for 1–4 credit hours.

Section 1: General
Represent clients and conduct intake interviews in a variety of practice areas, including actual innocence, appeals, breach of contract, civil rights, foreclosure defense, police misconduct, prisoners' rights, and small claims in state and federal court.

Section 2: Mortgage Foreclosure
Provide direct legal representation in foreclosure cases for clients who are residents of Cook County. In additional, clients may receive legal advice for a diverse range of foreclosure-related issues. Law students and designated supervising attorney(s) provide the Clinic with quality representation and offer advice to homeowners who are facing foreclosure and in need of legal assistance.

Section 3: Human Trafficking
Intern with the Women’s Justice Program of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Primary student responsibilities include, but are not limited to, updating information on an end-demand website, composing data, gathering statistical evidence, and writing summaries of national sting operations.

Clinical hours will be performed at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office located at the 2650 S. California.

Section 4: Litigation & Special Projects
Prerequisites: Successful completion of JD-018, Section 1, 2, or 3.
Students can elect to participate in a case or special project. Case and project assignments vary from semester to semester. The majority of students enrolled in Section 4 participate in a federal litigation case (fall semester: depositions and discovery; spring semester: trial preparation and trial). Section 4 students are given priority placement on federal litigation cases.

Section 5: Transgender Name & Gender Marker Change
Assist transgender individuals who are faced with the task of changing their names and identification documents. Students assist with the preparation of necessary court documents and appear in court on behalf of individuals at hearings.

Clinic Resources

From the Director

J. Damian Ortiz J. Damian Ortiz
Director, Pro Bono Program & Clinic
The Clinic provides the ideal opportunity to represent the underserved while providing students with practical experiential learning on a wide variety of legal matters. It is the perfect collaboration of student learning, experience, and community service.