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Last month, attorneys and staff members representing the CBA and CBF, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association again traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in ABA Day, the ABA’s annual advocacy event in Washington. Each year, Congress considers legislation that impacts access to justice, the justice system, and the legal profession. That’s why it is vital that leaders in our legal community in Chicago, and elsewhere in Illinois, participate in ABA Day each year to educate Congress on important issues impacting access to justice for Illinois residents. Proudly representing the CBF were CBF President Allegra Nethery, Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs Greg Boyle and Dawn Willis, Advocacy Committee member Emily Roschek, Executive Director Bob Glaves, and Program Manager Angela Inzano.
This year, our Illinois group again met with counsel for both Illinois Senators and Representatives or legislative staff members from every Illinois Congressional district. We advocated on three important access to justice issues: increasing Legal Services Corporation funding, criminal sentencing and juvenile justice reform, and maintaining the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Bob Glaves and Allegra Nethery were invited to attend a special White House Forum on Increasing Access to Justice on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday morning led off with inspirational speeches to the ABA Day participants on the importance of the legal community’s advocacy on these issues from Representative Joe Kennedy (D) and Representative David Jolly (R). Wednesday afternoon, an esteemed panel of corporation leaders spoke at an Access to Justice Caucus hearing on why corporations care about access to justice issues. More meetings on the Hill followed on Thursday morning before our group headed back to Illinois.
This year’s trip was a great success and underscored the continued importance of the CBF’s advocacy on these issues. Everyone was inspired by the process and pleased to see firsthand that our Illinois congressional delegation overall continues to be very supportive of our key issues.
To learn more about ABA Day or how you can get involved in CBF advocacy work, please contact Angela Inzano at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 554-4952.