CBF Goes to Washington: Legal Aid Funding, Student Debt and Immigration

Leaders from the CBF again traveled to Washington D.C. earlier this month along with representatives from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and American Bar Association as part of the ABA’s annual ABA Day in Washington. Each year, Congress considers legislation and budget issues that impact access to justice, the court system, and the legal profession. That’s why it is vital that leaders in our legal community in Chicago, and elsewhere in Illinois, engage with our members of Congress on important issues impacting access to justice for Illinois residents.

This year we focused our efforts on three important access to justice issues: funding for the Legal Services Corporation, maintaining the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-based forgiveness programs as part of broader student debt reforms, and continuation of two proven programs recently suspended by the Department of Justice: legal orientation programs (LOP) for immigrants in detention and help desks in the immigration court in Chicago and elsewhere in the country.

Working with our colleagues at the ISBA and ABA and a number of dedicated volunteers, our Illinois team once again met with the entire Illinois Congressional delegation. The response on all three advocacy issues was quite positive from both sides of the aisle, underscoring that there continues to be broad bipartisan support for access to justice initiatives.

Want to get more involved? You can sign up for CBF advocacy alerts and updates by contacting Angela Inzano at ainzano@chicagobar.org or (312) 554-4952. To learn more about ABA Day or the CBF’s other advocacy work, you can also check out the advocacy section on the CBF website.