Fulfilling Your Responsibility as a Trustee of the Justice System

CBF Report October 2014

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Fulfilling Your Responsibility as a Trustee of the Justice System
Time, Money, and Influence

By Bob Glaves  |  CBF Executive Director

While we all get called on to support a lot of causes, the justice system is our home turf as lawyers and legal professionals. Wherever you are in the legal community, you are a trustee of the justice system, and it is our common cause to make sure the system is fair and accessible for all people regardless of their income or circumstances.

For too many people today the justice system is falling short of our nation’s ideals. About 700,000 low-income people in the Chicago area are expected to encounter a legal problem this year, yet fewer than half of them will be able to access legal help because there aren’t enough pro bono and legal aid resources to go around. A growing number of moderate-income people are unable to find affordable legal help as well. The net result is that many thousands of people in our community are left without the assistance they need to fairly and effectively resolve their legal problems.

[panel background=”#003A63″ color=”#ffcf82″ border=”0px solid #cccccc” shadow=”4px 4px 2px #bbbbbb” radius=”3″]Learn more about how you can make a difference through a combination of your time, your money, and your influence by clicking on the Get Involved button on our website. You can make a big impact both individually and by joining forces with your colleagues in the legal community through your foundation€“the CBF€“where you are able to make a collective impact that none of us could make on our own.[/panel]Every day that goes by when people in our community can’t count on the justice system being fair and accessible, we lose a key part of who we are as a profession and as a country. You can take a concrete step to do something about that wherever you are in the legal community by contributing your time, your money, and your influence to advance our common cause. Some of us have more time to give than money, while for others the opposite is true. All of us have important influence in our networks, in the justice system, and in the policymaking process.

There are several great opportunities coming up over the next month for you to make a difference in each of these three ways. It all starts with CBA/CBF Pro Bono Week the week of October 20. There will be multiple opportunities to learn how you can use your time to make a difference, highlighted by the 21st Annual Pro Bono & Community Service Fair on October 23.

The following week, the CBF’s Justice Wednesday is a great opportunity to use your money to make a difference in this cause through your foundation, the CBF. Check out the sidebar with this article for more information. You also can contribute any time this fall to the CBF and the many outstanding pro bono and legal aid organizations serving our community. October is a great time to contribute, as you will be receiving your ARDC renewal forms soon, and you can include these donations on your reporting form.

Lastly, in late November the CBF will be hosting an advocacy workshop that will give you practical tips on how you can make a difference in this cause through the legislative and policy process. Watch for more details on that workshop at https://chicagobarfoundation.org/ and in upcoming CBA emails.

This summer, the CBF will formally launch the Justice Pledge, a leadership commitment to use your time, money and influence to advance the cause of making the justice system fair and accessible to all. We are looking for a few good men and women this fall to be the forerunners in this charge, 250 to be exact. If you are interested in being one of those leaders, take the pledge today!

[row] [column size=”3/4″] [photo_panel photo=””]JUSTICE STARTS WITH A SOLID FOUNDATION

Keep Yours Strong On Justice Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The CBF is your foundation, the place where you can come together with your colleagues in the CBA to make the justice system more fair and accessible for everyone. Thank you for your generous support in making your foundation a national model and a point of pride for the CBA and Chicago’s legal community.

This fall, please make a contribution to the CBF to keep your foundation strong. You can donate any time securely and easily online at www.chicagobarfoundation.org or by mail or phone. If you donate on Justice Wednesday on October 29, you can make an even greater impact. The first $10,000 in donations that day will be matched by members of the CBF Board, and by donating on Justice  Wednesdayyou’ll get a chance to win some great prizes as well.

Watch for an email from the CBA on October 29 with more information on Justice Wednesday,or go to www.chicagobarfoundation.org for more information on how you can get involved. Your charitable contribution to the CBF is tax-deductible and counts towards your ARDC reporting for the year, and you will make a big impact in making your community a fairer and better place for everyone.