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November 30, 2017

Groundbreaking Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network Launches

Earlier this month, the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network officially launched in conjunction with Veterans Day.

The new network was made possible by the Access to Justice Act, one of the CBF’s major legislative initiatives the past few years. The Act provides the framework and funding for a new legal hotline and network of services for Veterans and military families in Illinois.

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November 29, 2017

Thank you Ryanne!

For the second time this year, the CBF faced the bittersweet moment of saying thank you and good luck to one of our longtime colleagues who moved out of state for personal reasons.

Ryanne Easley, who has been an integral part of the CBF in many roles, recently moved to New York when her husband Jeff accepted a dream job offer to become assistant general counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association.

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November 27, 2017

People Remember How You Made Them Feel, Part 2 – The Courts

In my September post, I used a famous Maya Angelou quote as food for thought on how lawyers can better serve their clients: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That quote could be a downright call to action in the context of the courts and how people without lawyers experience the current system.

To put it mildly, we can do a lot better. And this is no academic exercise—it’s critical to the future of access to justice.

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November 21, 2017

jep november 2017 classJEP Welcomes Its Tenth Cohort

Earlier this month, the tenth cohort of lawyers joined the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP), the CBF’s incubator program that helps newer lawyers launch innovative practices to make legal services more affordable and accessible for thousands of low and moderate income people in our community.

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November 17, 2017

Serving as the Court’s Eyes and Ears to Protect the Vulnerable: CVLS’ Guardian ad Litem Program

Ajay Sundar, an associate at Skadden Arps, wanted to put his legal skills to help others, and he volunteered to do just that through the CVLS Guardian ad Litem for Minors Program.

As Ajay recently recounted, CVLS quickly assigned him a pro bono case involving an eight-year-old named Ley’gacy, who was living with her grandmother. Her grandmother had guardianship because Ley’gacy’s mother was unable to care for her, but her mother—who had a history of mental illness and instability–was now seeking to assert her parental rights. Then, one day, Ley’gacy disappeared from her grandmother’s home. She had been kidnapped by her mother.

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November 9, 2017

New Edition of Premier Resource for Pro Bono Opportunities in the Chicago Area Now Available

The CBF recently released an updated version of our popular Pro Bono Opportunities Guide, a comprehensive resource designed to help attorneys find and connect with pro bono opportunities particularly suited to their interests, skills and schedules. The Guide identifies opportunities by legal subject area (e.g., adoption, eviction); type of representation (e.g., litigation, transactional); client group (e.g., children, elderly); time commitment and availability; and also by organization.

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November 1, 2017

Pro Bono Week 2017 – For the Sake of the Community

The CBA and CBF’s 13th Annual Pro Bono Week featured a number of successful programs and events that underscored this year’s theme, For the Sake of the Community.  Jan Feldman, Executive Director of the Lawyers for the Creative Arts, and Trisha M. Rich, an attorney at Holland & Knight LLP, co-chaired this year’s Pro Bono Week that kicked off on October 23rd. Hundreds of lawyers and other legal professionals in Chicago came together to celebrate the important pro bono work being done in our community and to learn about additional opportunities to make an impact through pro bono in the year ahead.

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October 17, 2017

Highlights from the ABA Pro Bono Survey in Illinois

In early 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice—in partnership with the CBF, the Illinois Bar Foundation, and the Public Interest Law Initiative—released a statewide survey to hear directly from attorneys about their experiences with pro bono. The Pro Bono Survey Project is part of a national effort spearheaded by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service to study broader pro bono trends across the country.

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October 16, 2017

A Ticket to a Successful and Fulfilling Legal Career

In the toolbox of strategies for making your legal career an accomplished and fulfilling one, there is one tool that is often overlooked and almost always underrated: pro bono. While pro bono should be an integral part of your practice for many fundamental reasons, an added bonus is that it also helps ensure long term success and satisfaction in your career.

So how can doing pro bono work help you advance your career and find fulfillment in our fast changing profession?

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October 12, 2017

The Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Reporting Rule and You

All Illinois lawyers can expect to receive their annual ARDC registration statements this month, which again will include questions about their pro bono work and related financial contributions over the past year pursuant to the pro bono reporting requirement adopted by the Supreme Court in 2006. If you haven’t taken a pro bono case or made a financial contribution yet this year, it’s not too late. There’s still time for you to get involved and contribute before you complete your registration, and below are some resources to help you do that.

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