CBA Legal Aid Committee: Sometimes You Want to Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Of the 100+ committees that the Chicago Bar Association provides, an attorney is sure to find a place to call home among like-minded professionals in their field. The legal aid community is no exception.

The CBF is proud to partner with and staff the CBA Legal Aid Committee, bringing together representatives from pro bono and legal aid organizations to address topics of common interest and to share information with one another. The Committee also works to further the understanding that each legal aid organization is part of a broader network in order to encourage collaboration and foster a sense of community.

The Legal Aid Committee meets once a month, puts on one seminar a year for the broader CBA membership, and has a very active legislative subcommittee that develops and recommends positions on legislation relevant to legal aid and access to justice.

For example, last year the Committee had meetings that covered everything from how e-filing might affect legal aid clients and pro se litigants, to how to best serve client populations such as veterans, immigrant communities, and the LGBT community. Since 2011, the Committee has also compiled an annual list of selected highlights in order to celebrate and memorialize the great work happening at legal aid organizations each year.

Leading the group this year are Committee Chair Rebekah Rashidfarokhi from Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Vice-Chair Miguel C. Keberlein Gutiérrez from Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, and Legislative Liaison Beth Johnson from Cabrini Green Legal Aid. Fun fact CBF Executive Director Bob Glaves originally found his way to the CBF through chairing the Legal Aid Committee in the 1994-95 bar year back when he was in private practice.