The 2014 Investing in Justice Campaign

March 17, 2014

CBF Report February/March 2014

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Justice People Deserve, Not Just What They Can Afford

By Hollis R. Hanover  |  CBF Director of Development

The 8th annual CBF Investing in Justice Campaign kicks off this month, and once again thousands of individual attorneys and legal professionals from throughout the legal community are coming together around our common cause as a profession: taking a lead role to ensure that everyone has access to justice, not just people who can afford to pay for necessary legal help. Over the past seven years, the Campaign has grown from the ambitious vision of a few dedicated individuals to a broad-based effort that has now raised a total of more than $8.5 million for the cause. Last year, more than 4,000 individuals at 137 participating firms, companies and organizations (including the CBA) made it possible for tens of thousands of people to obtain vital legal assistance that is often critical to their safety and independence. While we should take pride in the Campaign’s past success, the need in our community is still great, and we have proven that through the Campaign we can make a big impact in meeting this need.

The CBA again is one of the organizations on the leadership team for the Campaign, and we encourage all CBA members to contribute. If you would like to add your firm, company or organization to the growing leadership team, or for more information about the Campaign, visit the CBF website at www.chicagobarfoundation.org/campaign or contact Hollis Hanover, CBF’s Director of Development, at hhanover@chicagobar.org or 312-554-1209.

The Campaign is designed to inspire individual lawyers from all segments of Chicago’s legal community to come together and make personal financial contributions to support our community’s pro bono and legal aid organizations, and you and your fellow members of the CBA play an integral role. Once again, 100% of the individual contributions to the Campaign will go directly to CBF grants that support a network of more than 35 Chicago-area pro bono and legal aid organizations serving our community.

In past years, the Campaign has been led by some of the most prominent members of our legal community, including Daniel E. Reidy, Emily Nicklin, William A. Von Hoene, Jr., Charles W. Douglas, Jeffrey E. Stone, Dan K. Webb and Anton R. Valukas. Following in this great tradition, this year’s 8th annual Campaign is chaired by former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, a Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Three Core Principles

There are three underlying premises for the Campaign. First, while we all support a wide variety of worthy causes, ensuring that all people have equal access to the justice system is our common cause as a legal community and one that is distinctly important to us as trustees of that system. If we don’t take the lead in this cause, no one else will.

Second, despite the dedicated efforts of the many outstanding pro bono and legal aid attorneys in our community, more than half of the hundreds of thousands of low-income and disadvantaged Chicagoans in need of legal assistance each year are unable to get often critical help due to a shortage of pro bono and legal aid resources.

Finally, while we all have important roles to play as individuals, the Campaign has proved that we have the power to significantly expand the capacity of our pro bono and legal aid system when the legal community comes together as one around this issue.

The Campaign is the one time you can support the entire pro bono and legal aid system with one contribution. Specifically, by donating to the Campaign you:

  • Strengthen Chicago’s pro bono and legal aid organizations;
  • Enable dedicated lawyers to pursue and remain in legal aid careers;
  • Maximize opportunities for pro bono lawyers to effectively supplement the work of their legal aid counterparts; and
  • Make the courts more user-friendly and accessible for people in need.

The people receiving services made possible by the Campaign include the elderly, disabled, veterans and children; domestic violence victims; people at risk of losing their homes; immigrants fleeing persecution and abuse; and many other low-income and disadvantaged people in the Chicago area in need of legal assistance. All contributions qualify for the Illinois Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Reporting Rule and are tax-deductible.

Invest in Justice Today

Add your voice to the others making a difference through this Campaign, and make a contribution today.