Our Mission, Vision & Values


As the charitable arm of the CBA, The Chicago Bar Foundation brings the legal community together to improve access to justice for people in need and make the legal system more fair and efficient for everyone.


The CBF’s vision is that all people in the Chicago metropolitan area have equal access to justice and that Chicago’s legal community embraces its leadership responsibility to uphold this fundamental American principle.


  • Equal access to justice is central to our democratic society, integral to the effective functioning of the justice system, and a critical part of the safety net for vulnerable people in our community.
  • As trustees of the justice system, lawyers have a special responsibility to ensure equal access to justice. The CBF’s mission is a reflection of The Chicago Bar Association’s strong commitment to this fundamental responsibility of the legal profession and our belief that the huge and persistent gap in access to the civil justice system is a call to action for the legal community.
  • The concerted efforts of the legal community have the power to significantly improve access to justice for low-income and disadvantaged people in the Chicago metropolitan area and ultimately to fulfill our nation’s promise of justice for all.
  • All of our stakeholders are equally important to fulfilling our mission: our donors; our grantees; the CBA; our board, staff and volunteers; our many other partners; and all of the people in the Chicago metropolitan area who ultimately benefit from our collective efforts.
  • The CBF is committed to striving for excellence and transparency in all of our work, managing our resources effectively, and adhering to the highest ethical standards in our governance and management.