CHICAGO - Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to announce that it has signed on as a charter member of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Law Firm Leadership Circle. The Leadership Circle is made up of more than 20 of Chicago’s leading law firms, each of which recognizes the legal community’s duty to ensure access to the justice system in the Chicago area.

The Law Firm Leadership Circle embodies best practices for law firms on pro bono, firm giving and issues involving access to justice. In joining the Circle, firms must commit to supporting pro bono and legal aid by:

  • Encouraging each of their attorneys to complete at least 35 hours of pro bono work each year;
  • Donating $300 or more per attorney in the firm’s Chicago office to legal aid organizations each year;
  • Participating in the annual CBF Investing in Justice Campaign;
  • Advocating for adequate legal aid funding at the federal, state and local levels;
  • Providing in-kind marketing, training and administrative support for legal aid agencies to the extent practicable; and
  • Striving to support public interest law fellowships, rotations and internships.

Katten already meets or exceeds all of the organization’s requirements. In 2007, the Firm’s Chicago office completed an average of 49.2 hours of pro bono service per attorney and donated an average of $385 per attorney to legal aid organizations.

“Even though our pro bono efforts exceed the guidelines set by the Law Firm Leadership Circle and have for many years, we are grateful to the Chicago Bar Foundation for setting up a mechanism to encourage other firms to do the same,” said Jonathan K. Baum, Katten’s Director of Pro Bono Services and a partner with the Firm. “Ensuring access to the legal system for all members of our society is the responsibility of the entire legal community, and the Chicago Bar Foundation’s vision in forming the Law Firm Leadership Circle is an important step toward making it a reality.”

Katten has a long-term commitment to helping the poor, the powerless and the disenfranchised obtain first-rate representation without charge. Attorneys and other legal professionals give their time, resources and talent to serve individuals and organizations in need, to engage in important national litigation, and to partner with local legal service providers to ensure access to the justice system.

Katten’s pro bono program is particularly noteworthy for the breadth of services it offers. This includes litigation, both on behalf of individuals and groups, in matters of housing and public accommodations discrimination, civil liberties, immigration, criminal defense and prisoners’ rights, and consumer matters. Katten also handles transactional pro bono work in such areas as corporate and tax assistance to not-for-profit organizations, intellectual property law, employee benefits and international trade law.