This month marked a bittersweet occasion at the CBF as Kelly Tautges, our Director of Pro Bono and Court Advocacy since 2008, followed her heart back to her home state of Minnesota and took on a new role there as Pro Bono Counsel and Director of Pro Bono and Community Service for the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.
Kelly had quite an impact in her time at the CBF. She played a leadership role in the development and launch of groundbreaking initiatives, including the CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project, the CBF Legal Aid Academy, and the Circuit Court of Cook County Resource Center for People Without Lawyers.
She helped drive a number of improvements in pro bono, highlighted by the development of a Pro Bono Checklist that has become a model for organizations or entities considering new pro bono programs; a number of improved pro bono rules and policies that were developed by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and later adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court; and most recently in her great work with the Pro Bono Advisory Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District.
Kelly’s work with the Circuit Court Pro Se Advisory Committee and the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice played a key role in improving the landscape for the growing number of people coming into the courts without lawyers, as did her exemplary work in the expansion of the Illinois JusticeCorps program in Cook County over the past several years.
Kelly received some well-deserved recognition for her good work last fall when she received the prestigious Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence from the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
So thank you Kelly, you indeed did make quite an impact in your time at the CBF, and we look forward to working with you in your new pro bono counsel role!