Attorney Parents - West Cook Pro Bono wants you!

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By Melissa Ford

Coach - Personal & Business

Oak Parker, Donna Peel has harnessed the power of many talented parents through her creation of West Cook Pro Bono Network, an organization for parents, who just happen to be attorneys, wanting to give back to the community. Her organization allows parents to balance their active family lives while nurturing their professional lives as lawyers.

Recently, I attended a planning session for West Cook Pro Bono Network where I met educated, bright, caring women wanting to make a difference while fostering a connection with other parents/attorneys.   

I asked Peel for a quick snapshot of West Cook Pro Bono Network and here's what she had to say:


We are a low-stress commitment for attorneys who want to give back to the community. Initiated for busy parents, all projects are team or paired based to provide backup, and are planned with sensitivity to geographic proximity and school pickup times. Hours are about as low as you can get. Inactive status is acceptable under Illinois rules.

Four projects are underway for the 2011 - 2012 school year with malpractice insurance provided. Don't worry about committing, trying one event is encouraged.

The few hours you give allows the group to give many!

For more information contact or visit West Cook Pro Bono on Facebook and at You can find upcoming 2011 projects on our website. 


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Reader Comments

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Kristina from Oak Park  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 1:46 PM

I am so grateful that Donna took the initiative to put this network together. I am looking forward to using my legal skills again to help people who cannot afford an attorney but who desperately need someone to advocate for them.

Donna Peel from Oak Park  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 12:21 AM

@Ed, thanks for bringing up our Lawyers in the Classroom project. We have also done work with low-income seniors on powers of attorney and the like. Next year we are adding work relating to immigration and mortgages.

Edward Alberts from Livonia  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 10:04 PM

Sure seems like a wonderful group and a brilliant idea for exposing children to the real world side of the law. Unfortunately for me I've learned with time that a lawyer is not gender based and you sure can't judge that book by its cover. I'm sure these kids are getting the real deal by some brilliant minded, careing, and loving sharks of the trade. Keep up the great work, communities need more projects from people like this.

Donna Peel from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 9:19 PM

Such a great surprise to see our organization featured on Melissa's blog! The attorneys who immediately answered my mom-mail ad (thanks Annette Coffee) brought such enthusiasm, interest and great ideas that this took off pretty easily. And thank goodness. Without the group, my pro bono options would have involved getting sitters, driving downtown, or canceling on a client when my kid got sick. So, thanks to everyone. I wish this had started years ago. Thanks for spreading the word!

Maraya from Oak Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2011 9:16 PM

Okay, what this article doesn't say is this is about women, specifically women who made a choice to not work in a large firm or corporate environment so they could focus on their families. It's not about parents, its about moms. These women are smart, educated, attorneys who have skill sets and some incredible brain talent. They have found a way to support their family choices, use their legal talent and do more for their community than any other attorneys I know. Well done!!

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