Dina Merrell joined the CBF in October 2004 as Associate Director. Dina is responsible for the development and implementation of various programmatic work of the CBF—including grants, technical assistance and leadership in the pro bono and legal aid community—as well as overseeing the administrative operations of the CBF.
Prior to joining the CBF, Dina served as Director of the American Bar Association Center for Pro Bono, a national support center providing technical assistance and means for encouraging pro bono activity to pro bono programs, bar associations, law schools, and other segments of the legal profession. From 2001-2003, in addition to her responsibilities with the Center for Pro Bono, Dina also served as Counsel to the ABA Commission on Loan Repayment and Forgiveness, which was established in August 2001 by then-ABA President Robert Hirshon to examine law graduates’ debt burdens and the extent to which debt impedes graduates’ ability to pursue and remain in public service legal careers. Earlier in her legal career, Dina served as Special Counsel to the Guardian of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and as a Staff Attorney at Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation in the Evanston office.
Dina is active in Chicago’s nonprofit community, including serving on the board of directors of Links Hall, a Chicago organization that incubates and supports artistic innovation.
In 2005, Dina was selected as one of the “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” by Law Bulletin Publishing Company and in 2008, was recognized by Chicago-Kent College of Law with its Distinguished Service Award.
Dina graduated with honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1995 and earned a B.S. from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in 1987. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, she has resided in Chicago since 1989.