Striking a Blow Against Inequality by Increasing Access to Justice

March 18, 2015

CBF Report February/March 2015

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The 2015 Investing in Justice Campaign

By Angelika Labno  |  CBF Administrative & Communications Coordinator

Record pic 1

As the 9th annual CBF Investing in Justice Campaign kicks off this month and election seasons are heating up, seemingly everyone is talking about the problem of rising inequality in our society. While there are a variety of viewpoints on the causes and solutions for this problem, one thing we in the legal community all can agree upon is that it has no place in the justice system. That is a central theme for this year’s Campaign, which is being chaired by Brett Hart, Vice President and General Counsel at United Airlines, Inc.

Once again, thousands of individual attorneys and legal professionals from throughout the legal community are coming together to make a collective impact through the Campaign to help ensure that justice is accessible for all, not just for people who can afford to pay for necessary legal help. Over the past eight years, the Campaign has grown from the ambitious vision of a few dedicated individuals to a broad-based effort that has now raised a total of more than $10 million for the cause. Last year, a record-breaking number of more than 4,300 individuals at 146 participating firms, companies and organizations (including the CBA) made it possible for tens of thousands of people to obtain vital legal assistance that is often critical to their safety and independence. While we should take pride in the Campaign’s past success, the need to support our community is greater than ever, and we have proven that through the Campaign we can make a big impact in meeting this need.

The CBA again is one of the organizations on the leadership team for the Campaign, and we encourage all CBA members to contribute. If you would like to add your firm, company or organization to the growing leadership team, or for more information about the Campaign, visit the CBF web site at www.chicagobarfoundation.org.

Three Core Principles
There are three underlying premises for the Campaign. First, while we all support a wide variety of worthy causes, ensuring that all people have equal access to the justice system is distinctly important to us as trustees of that system and our common cause as a legal community.

Second, despite the dedicated efforts of the many outstanding pro bono and legal aid attorneys in our community, more than half of the hundreds of thousands of low-income and disadvantaged Chicagoans in need of legal assistance each year are unable to get often critical help due to a shortage of pro bono and legal aid resources.

Finally, while we all have important roles to play as individuals, the Campaign has proved that we have the power to significantly expand the capacity of our pro bono and legal aid system when the legal community comes together as one around this issue.

The Campaign is the one time you can support the entire pro bono and legal aid system with one contribution and make an impact that none of us could on our own.
Specifically, donations to the Campaign:

  • Leverage significantly more money from government and other foundations
  • Benefit from the CBF’s rigorous grants process, which strategically allocates the Campaign funds to maximize impact and ensures accountability
  • Save hundreds of thousands of dollars in other social services by enabling people to resolve legal problems before they spin out of control

The people receiving services made possible by the Campaign include the elderly, disabled, veterans and children; domestic violence victims; people at risk of losing their homes; immigrants fleeing persecution and abuse; and many other low-income and disadvantaged people in the Chicago area in need of legal assistance.

All contributions qualify for the Illinois Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Reporting Rule and are tax-deductible.

Invest in Justice Today
Add your voice to the others making a difference through this Campaign, and make a contribution today!

Justice Starts With a Solid Foundation

The Chicago Bar Foundation is your foundation, where you come together with your colleagues in Chicago’s legal community to make the justice system more fair and accessible for everyone.

Find out more at www.chicagobarfoundation.org.