Small enough to provide specific attention, yet big enough to have a wide breadth of expertise.
- Chambers USA

Pro Bono

Goldberg Kohn's Commitment to Pro Bono

Goldberg Kohn is committed to supporting and assisting individuals and organizations in the Chicagoland area and beyond through pro bono representation. Each year, the firm encourages attorneys to identify pro bono opportunities and allocates time to this work that is driven by the interests of the firm’s attorneys.

The firm contributes professional skills and substantial resources in cases and projects that assist those who could not otherwise obtain legal representation and supports diverse social causes that increase access to the arts and cultural expressions of Chicago.

In addition, the firm’s principals established the Goldberg Kohn Foundation which annually provides financial support to scores of local, regional and national charities, as well as civic and cultural organizations.

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Supporting Nonprofits

Goldberg Kohn helps various groups obtain nonprofit and tax-exempt status in Illinois such as The Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation, a group dedicated to promoting the safety and well-being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, and ‘N The Spirit Transformational Living, which provides counseling and housing for women suffering from addiction and domestic abuse.

Other nonprofits Goldberg Kohn has supported include:

Representative Pro Bono Work
  • Representing a young woman seeking asylum in the U.S. after facing threats to her safety in her origin country of Darfur.
  • Representing the tenant association of Ellis Lakeview Apartments, an affordable housing building in Chicago in partnership with the Shriver Center on Poverty Law. The building had fallen into severe disrepair after being sold to a new owner, creating an unsafe living environment for residents.
  • Serving as lead counsel for Cook County in connection with the county’s challenge to the Trump administration’s “public charge” immigration rule, which allows for the rejection of immigrants’ applications for permanent residence in the U.S.
  • Representing 30 homeowners in East Chicago, Indiana to recover for damages done to their properties and emotional distress after the introduction of hazardous contaminants to their neighborhood by lead refineries and other manufacturing processes.
  • Conducting one-day clinics in collaboration with the National Immigration Justice Center to provide individuals with assistance in filing renewal applications under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s DACA.
  • Supporting the Chicago International Charter School, a network of 14 innovative and diverse charter schools serving approximately 8,000 Chicago students, by offering labor and employment guidance.
  • Serving as lead trial counsel in a class action lawsuit on behalf of 600,000 children eligible for Medicaid against the Illinois Departments of Public Aid and Human Services, resulting in a landmark decision vindicating the rights of children to health care.
  • Serving as co-counsel in a federal lawsuit that challenged the validity of a new federal law requiring 50 million Medicaid recipients and applicants to prove their U.S. citizenship with passports, birth certificates and other special documents or lose their public health care coverage. The resulting litigation leveraged a change to federal law.
  • Representing immigrants seeking political asylum through the Heartland Alliance/Midwest Immigration and Human Rights Center.
  • Representing incarcerated individuals in the Illinois Appellate Courts and in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Awards and Accomplishments

Goldberg Kohn regularly receives acknowledgments and various awards for its pro bono work with organizations.

Most recently, Goldberg Kohn attorneys David Morrison and Steven Levy were presented with the Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service Award from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. They and their fellow pro bono team members were honored for winning a case of national significance that went to the U.S. Supreme three times.

The firm was honored by the Pro Bono Institute with the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award for its ongoing commitment and partnership with McDonald’s and the National Immigrant Justice Center to help asylum applicants obtain legal status in the United States.

In years past, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law honored Goldberg Kohn with its Corporate Partner Award. The award exemplified the many years of collaboration between the firm and the Shriver Center. 

The firm was also honored with the Community Hero Award after attorneys assisted Erie Family Health pro bono with lease negotiations. The firm was acknowledged for its contributions and support in the creation of the Erie Helping Hands Health Center in Albany Park and the community in bringing needed health care services to Chicago.

Additionally, the firm was the recipient of the Charles J. O'Laughlin Memorial Award from the Chicago Legal Clinic which recognizes a law firm with an exemplary record of pro bono representation. 

Firm principals have also been recognized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Federal Bar Association for their pro bono efforts and received the Court's Excellence in Pro Bono Award.

Accomplishments on Behalf of Others

Goldberg Kohn attorneys have volunteered thousands of hours to civic, charitable and nonprofit organizations, including high impact and high profile work unique to a midsized law firm. 

Our attorneys are involved in more than 60 organizations, including:

  • Antiracism and minority-focused legal alliances
  • Animal protection funds
  • Civil rights organizations
  • Community boards
  • Health research foundations
  • Immigration/asylum organizations
  • Scholarship funds
  • School advisory boards
  • Sleepaway camps
  • Sports clubs
  • Various bar associations

Since 2007, the firm has made a financial commitment to the Chicago Bar Foundation’s inaugural Investing in Justice Campaign, a fundraising effort designed to address Chicago’s legal aid organizations through financial support for legal aid attorneys and was one of the first law firms to do so.

To learn more about Goldberg Kohn's Pro Bono Policy please click here.

Attorneys At Law

55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792
Tel: 312.201.4000
Fax: 312.332.2196


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