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December 21, 2017

Maximize Your Year-End Charitable Giving

As 2017 comes to a close, many of us are taking out our checkbooks and making our end-of-year gifts to the charities we support. However, if you are considering a larger gift, a better strategy may be to put away your checkbook and pick up the phone to your financial advisor instead. With the stock market at an all-time high right now, a look at your entire financial picture may reveal that it’s more beneficial to your bottom line to give a gift of appreciated assets than to give cash.

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December 20, 2017

2018 New Year’s Resolution for the Legal Profession: Make it a Priority to Incorporate Technology Into Our Work, but Set Clearer Boundaries

Last year at this time, you may remember my new year’s resolution for our profession was to stop calling people non-lawyers, which sadly continues to be a problem and needs to carry forward as a 2018 resolution.

My new resolution for next year is that we as a profession make it a priority to catch up to the rest of the world in the way we use technology. But it comes with a critical corollary: wherever we are on the spectrum of technology adoption, we need to set much clearer boundaries so that technology doesn’t so overwhelm our lives that we lose what makes us uniquely valuable as professionals and people.

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December 14, 2017

Support the CBF with a Year-End Gift

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

That of course is the opening line of the Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities. It could also be a metaphor for the state of access to justice in 2017. We are getting dangerously close to a tale of two justice systems, one for those who can afford legal help and another for the growing numbers of people in our community who cannot.

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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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