This page contains information on a pro bono opportunity through the Chicago Bar Foundation in which attorneys help people who have had their driver's licenses suspended. Learn more about the program.
Chicago Bar Association summary suspension volunteer program
Legal knowledge plus skills training
Each year the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) hosts a three-hour intensive DUI Summary Suspension session followed by a two-hour skills training by expert faculty. During the session, faculty demonstrate cross exam skills, after which you will practice your new cross skills through hands-on, small-group cross-examination workshops before sitting Circuit Court of Cook County judges. In the small group cross-examination workshop, you will cross exam Chicago Police officers in a mock trial setting. Judges will rule on your performance and coaches offer suggestions for improvement.
Real clients, real witnesses, real judges = real trial experience at the training!
Pro bono case assignment
After the training, the CBA Liaison will assign interested course attendees to pro bono cases. Volunteers will represent a person without legal representation who has petitioned the Court for the rescission of the statutory summary suspension of their driver’s license in Cook County.
What is statutory summary suspension? The State automatically suspends the driver’s license in certain DUI cases. For example, if the petitioner refused to take the breathalyzer examination or the results were in excess of the appropriate legal limits, the State will suspend the petitioner’s driver’s license for six months. Persons charged with DUIs may beat the DUI charges but still lose their license because they are not entitled to Public Defender representation for the civil summary suspension matter. You can help them while getting priceless courtroom experience!
Thirty-days before the hearing, you will receive 10-12 pages of documents needed to prepare for the courtroom cross-examination of the Chicago Police Officer at a Richard J. Daley Center courtroom. You will be the trial lawyer for this 40-minute hearing, allowing you to develop your cross-examination skills while providing valuable pro bono services for the Court.
You will have continuous opportunities to receive pro bono appointments, which you decide to take when convenient with your schedule. Malpractice coverage will be provided for lawyers whose current coverage will not protect them for this pro bono work.
Get priceless courtroom experience by participating in actual hearings!
Updated: October 2016