Investing in Justice Campaign Sets New Record, Leverages Hundreds of Thousands More

Tens of thousands of people in need will receive critical legal assistance thanks to more than 5,200 individual contributors at 150 participating firms, companies and organizations

The Chicago Bar Foundation is proud to announce record-breaking results for the 2019 Investing in Justice Campaign. More than 5,200 individuals joined together to contribute $1.56 million, the highest amount ever raised in the Campaign’s 13-year history and with donations still coming in. In the effort to raise awareness and much-needed funding for pro bono and legal aid services in the Chicago area, 150 law firms, corporate legal departments, and other law-related organizations participated in this year’s Campaign. Chaired by Linda Coberly, Chicago managing partner of Winston & Strawn, the Investing in Justice Campaign each year engages thousands of individuals throughout Chicago’s legal community to come together and contribute generously to help ensure that everyone has access to necessary legal help.

This year’s Campaign will make possible more than $2.3 million in grants and support for the work of more than 30 pro bono and legal aid organizations and related initiatives. Thanks to a number of generous matching contributions from participating firms and companies, the CBF is able to dedicate 100% of individual Campaign contributions toward this support and to leverage more than $700,000 in additional funding from CBF foundation and government partners. 

“The Investing in Justice Campaign helps some of our community’s most vulnerable residents as they face legal problems that threaten their children, families, homes, livelihoods, financial security, safety, and liberty,” said Coberly. “I am proud to have led this year’s effort and to be part of a legal community here in Chicago that year over year demonstrates such generosity and leadership.”

Since its inception in 2007, the Campaign has more than doubled both in the number of donors and the amounts contributed. It is the largest campaign of its kind anywhere in the country, and it has raised more than $17.5 million to date, while leveraging millions more in grants to support the pro bono and legal aid organizations serving the Chicago area.

The Campaign funds a continuum of legal services for low- and middle-income people in need, ranging from web-based resources, help desks, and legal aid hotlines to market-based solutions, extended legal representation, and large-scale impact litigation and advocacy.

With more than half of low-income and disadvantaged people in the Chicago area unable to get often crucial legal help due to a shortage of legal aid resources, and many more moderate income people lacking affordable help, the Campaign plays a key role in helping to meet that need. The tens of thousands of people receiving services made possible by the Campaign are the elderly, disabled individuals, veterans, children, domestic violence victims, people at risk of losing their homes, immigrants fleeing persecution and abuse, and many other people in need.

More information about the Campaign and its impact is available at chicagobarfoundation.org/campaign.