Giving Back Our commitment to the community
At Goldman Ismail, we are dedicated to making a difference by supporting local charitable and legal organizations.
We fulfill this mission through our Firm’s myriad pro bono commitments, as well as our participation in a variety of local volunteer service projects and fundraising activities. We bring the same creativity and energy to these endeavors as we do to our client advocacy. For us, it’s simple: we believe lawyers have a responsibility to give back to their communities, and we strive every day to make that conviction a reality.
Pro Bono Legal Advocacy
Goldman Ismail is committed to delivering pro bono legal advocacy to underserved individuals and communities. The Firm’s Pro Bono Committee connects Goldman Ismail attorneys and staff to legal aid organizations seeking volunteers for significant pro bono projects. Our Firm has advocated on behalf of indigent prisoners, juveniles in need of legal representation, immigrants seeking asylum, and other disadvantaged members of the community, at both the trial and appellate levels.
Some of the Firm’s representative pro bono commitments include:
Goldman Ismail represents asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries in collaboration with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). Our pro bono work includes interviewing witnesses, preparing affidavits, arguing motions, researching country conditions, and representing the asylum seekers in their ultimate merits hearings.
NDIL Settlement Assistance Program
In partnership with the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Goldman Ismail attorneys provide free legal services to pro se parties in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois regarding settlement, including counseling clients, engaging in settlement negotiations, and appearing at settlement conferences.
Goldman Ismail attorneys have sought and accepted pro bono appointments to serve as trial and appellate counsel for indigent prisoners in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Our legal work has included civil litigation as well as petitions seeking writs of habeas corpus. Of particular note, the Firm represented Tyrone Petties in his Section 1983 lawsuit alleging deliberate indifference to his Achilles tendon rupture while incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center. Our advocacy led to a rare en banc re-hearing and reversal of summary judgment by the Seventh Circuit in a landmark August 2016 decision. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari, the case was favorably settled on remand.
Goldman Ismail also seeks opportunities to serve its community outside the courtroom. Our efforts in recent years have included the following activities:
Lawyers in the Classroom
We teach civic lessons to middle schools in the Chicago Public School system through a program sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.
Cradles to Crayons
This January we volunteered on site at the Cradles to Crayons Chicago facility, assembling packages made up of essential items for children who live in homeless or low-income situations. Additionally, we had a firm wide clothing, book, and toy drive for this program.
Chicago Park District Clean-Ups
We have organized and participated in annual clean-up projects on the North Side of Chicago, sponsored by the Chicago Park District.
Lurie Children’s Hospital Toy Drive
Each December, we organize a firm-wide Toy Drive to collect toys for children of all ages who are patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Our team participated in a food packing event at the Greater Chicago Food Depository on the South Side of Chicago, where we organized and packed approximately 3 tons of produce for delivery to underserved communities.
Chicago Scholars Foundation
We mentor academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities to complete college and become the next generation of leaders.
5k Charity Runs
We have participated in various charitable local 5k events, including the Race to Wrigley (supporting Cubs Charities for health, fitness, and education) and Race Judicata (supporting Chicago Volunteer Legal Services).
We support and participate in fundraising for various worthy local non-profits, including Step Up, the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, One Million Degrees, and the Legal Council for Health Justice.
Random Acts of Flowers
We volunteered at Random Acts of Flowers, spending a morning creating floral arrangements with donated, recycled flowers which were then delivered to individuals in assisted living facilities.