Volunteering for Wills for Heroes

Upcoming Clinic Dates

September 14, 2024
November 9, 2024
February 8, 2025
March 8, 2025
April 12, 2025
May 3, 2025

See below for information about how to sign up to volunteer.  

Wills for Heroes Clinic Location

Chicago Police Headquarters, located at 3510 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653. Parking is available.

Clinic Event Schedule

8:30 HotDocs software training
9:00 First client appointments
11:00 Last client appointments
We typically complete the execution of our last clients’ documents between 1:30 and 2:00. 
Many of our drafting attorneys leave once they’ve completed their last client’s documents, often around 12:30 or 1:00.

Volunteer Opportunities for Attorneys and Non-Attorneys/Law Students

The program is always seeking new volunteers, and has several opportunities available.
1. Estate Planning Attorneys: Experienced Illinois-licensed estate planning attorneys are needed to review completed estate plans and walk clients through the execution of the documents.
2. Other Attorneys: Illinois-licensed attorneys without estate planning experience are needed to draft wills and powers of attorney using HotDocs document automation software, and act as witnesses during the execution of the documents.
3. Notaries Public and Non-Attorneys/ Law Students: If you are a Notary Public you can participate by notarizing documents. Non-attorneys and law students can participate by pairing up with attorneys during the document preparation phase of the program or by serving as witnesses during the execution of the documents.

How to Register to Volunteer for an Event

Email wills@chicagobar.org to be added to our volunteer list.  About 2-3 weeks prior to an event, a recruitment email will be send to the entire list, including the link to a registration form. Once you’ve completed the form, you’ll receive a confirmation email with conflicts information during the week of the event. If you have any difficulty signing up, please contact co-chairs John Festa or Sharmon Paris.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will I be doing at the event? Attorneys without extensive estate planning experience will be performing a variety of functions. Some will do intake with the clients and help them fill out their estate planning documents. Others will act as witnesses during the execution of the documents. Experienced estate planning attorneys will review completed estate plans and help with the execution of the documents. Law students and non-attorneys will be assisting attorneys with client intake and document preparation or serving as witnesses during the execution of the documents.

Do you provide training for the event? It is recommended that all first-time Wills for Heroes volunteers complete the training session. Click here to view the most recent training videoPlease note that you can only receive one Wills for Heroes CLE credit per calendar year. You will receive training on our software immediately preceding the event, as well.

Do I need to have malpractice insurance? You do not need to have your own malpractice insurance to volunteer. The Chicago Bar Association provides the necessary malpractice insurance for all volunteers. The Wills for Heroes program also provides the necessary engagement agreements to all clients.

How do I perform a conflicts check? Earlier in the week of the Wills for Heroes clinic, you will receive an email with a list of clients for conflict checks. If you have a potential conflict with a client that we bring to you, please let us know, and we’ll direct that client to another volunteer.

What should I wear? There is no dress code. Feel free to dress comfortably.

What are my transportation options? The Chicago Police Headquarters is easily accessible via the CTA's Green and Red Lines and Metra's Rock Island District Line. There is also free on-site parking for volunteers.

Must I stay for the entire event? No. If you have other commitments, you are of course free to leave early. However, we ask that you please notify us upon registration of your intent to leave early and/or come a little later so that we can staff the event accordingly. Also, if we experience a high volume of cancelled client appointments, you will not be asked to stay for the remainder of the event if you prefer not to do so, or have other commitments.

I know someone who would like to participate in Wills for Heroes. How do they get an appointment? Please have potential clients email Marge to schedule an appointment.

Program Contact Information

For all other program questions, please contact Wills For Heroes Committee Co-Chairs  John Festa and Sharmon Paris. For general inquires, contact the YLS Department of The Chicago Bar Association at 312-554-2070 or wills@chicagobar.org.