Investing in Justice Campaign Breaks Records in Milestone Year

Tens of thousands of people in need will receive critical legal assistance thanks to more than 5,000 individual contributors

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Susan Levy

The 2016 CBF Investing in Justice Campaign marked its 10th anniversary by setting new records across the board while raising awareness and critical funding for pro bono and legal aid services in the Chicago area. A new record of 154 law firms, corporate legal departments and other law-related organizations participated in this year’s Campaign, which was chaired by Susan Levy, executive vice president and general counsel at Northern Trust. More than 5,000 individual attorneys and legal professionals contributed more than $1.5 million, both of which are the highest amounts in the Campaign’s 10-year history.

For ten years now, the Investing in Justice Campaign has annually engaged thousands of individual lawyers and legal professionals throughout Chicago’s legal community to come together and contribute generously to help ensure that everyone has access to necessary legal help, not just people who can afford it. Over that time, the Campaign has more than quadrupled from 35 participating firms and companies to this year’s record-breaking 154. It is the largest campaign of its kind anywhere in the country and has raised more than $13 million to date while leveraging millions more in support for the pro bono and legal aid organizations serving the Chicago area.

I’ve been inspired to see our legal community once again embrace this cause of equal justice and commit to supporting our legal aid organizations and the people they serve, said Levy. The Investing in Justice Campaign has come a long way in the ten years since its inception. It has truly become a rallying point for the whole legal community and one that I’m proud to have led this year.

The thousands of individual contributions to the Campaign leverage hundreds of thousands in additional funding for this work as well. This year’s Campaign will yield more than $2 million in grants to 33 pro bono and legal aid organizations thanks to a number of generous matching contributions from participating firms and companies and additional foundation and government funding the CBF is able to leverage through the Campaign grants process.

One hundred percent of individual contributions to the Campaign go directly to CBF grants, which fund a continuum of legal assistance for people in need. 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 resources, the Campaign grants play a key role in helping to bridge that gap.

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.