Melissa A. Cooney of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, and three other McHenry County attorneys have been honored for their commendable and professional work.
The four were praised for their efforts at the McHenry County Legal Aid Awards on May 26, 2015. All of the honorees rendered outstanding pro bono service to clients of Prairie State Legal Services.
At the luncheon event, the Illinois Commission of Professionalism Executive Director Jayne Reardon gave the keynote address titled “Service: The Cornerstone of the Profession.” McHenry County Bar Association President Carlos Arévalo offered welcoming remarks and Associate Judge Robert A. Wilbrandt, Jr. of the 22nd Judicial Circuit presented the awards with Reardon and offered remarks.
Melissa Cooney was recognized for her admirable work in taking a pro bono divorce case that already was in progress.
The program for the event included comments by Cooney about why she devotes time to pro bono service, despite her busy practice.
“Making time for volunteering is not that difficult. I handle a pro bono case just like any other. When something needs to be filed or responded to, you do it in a timely fashion. You can’t put the pro bono case off to the side and get to it when you have extra time.
“I think it is everyone’s responsibility to take a legal aid client or other pro bono client and to have one such client at least once a year,” she says. “It takes time, but it reflects well on us all. We are helping someone out, and there is always enough time to take one on.”
Also acknowledged were Steve Greeley for outstanding support of Prairie State Legal Services, Peter Carroll for longtime volunteer service as a solo practitioner and Michelle Gehris for handing multiple cases in a year as a solo practitioner.