Your Foundation at Work in 2022

January 4, 2023

Building a Fairer and Better Justice System, Together

You continue to make a tremendous impact through the CBF by coming together with your peers throughout our legal community. You again made it possible for thousands of people in need get to critical legal help while at the same time driving innovative projects that are building a fairer and better justice system that will benefit our entire community well into the future.

As we begin 2023, the work you are making possible through the CBF is more important than ever. You can learn more about the impact you are making and how you can continue supporting that work throughout the year on the CBF website

Innovative New Approaches to Eviction and Consumer Debt Cases

Your support enables the CBF to be a lead partner in the Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD) Program with the Circuit Court, Cook County, and many other legal aid, government, and community partners. This groundbreaking program is reimagining the court process for people facing evictions, consumer debt challenges, foreclosure, and other housing issues. The program provided critical legal help to more than 20,000 people this past year and has been recognized as a national model by the White House and other national organizations for helping to develop a fairer and better court process for evictions.

Helping Dedicated Lawyers Pursue Careers in Legal Aid

Thanks to your support, the CBF released a comprehensive new study of the legal aid community in Illinois conducted by Mercer.  The study gives a sobering yet inspiring view of what it is like to be a legal aid lawyer today and what we as a legal community can do to better support these dedicated lawyers and the next generation interested in pursuing these vital careers in the future. Building off a study released by the CBF in 2006, it identifies both significant challenges and real opportunities to continue to recruit and retain a diverse, talented, and committed group of legal aid advocates to serve our community. The full report and its key findings and recommendations is available on the CBF website.

Investing in Justice Campaign yields more than $2 million in grants and other support for legal aid

Nearly 4,000 lawyers and legal professionals from 130 law firms, corporate legal departments, and other law-related organizations came together to contribute more than $1.4 million to the 2022 Investing in Justice Campaign. Thanks to the exemplary leadership of Carrie Di Santo of CME Group and hundreds of other dedicated leaders, those contributions to the Campaign leveraged more than $700,000 in additional funding from CBF partners and helped provide more than $2 million in grants and other support for legal aid and related programs.

Nearly 2,000 people come together for the CBF Fall Benefit

As we build a fairer and better justice system together through the CBF, you also continue to lead our legal community back into the new normal where we can connect with our peers after the challenges and isolation of the pandemic. The 26th annual CBF Fall Benefit at the Museum of Science & Industry was a prime example of that, drawing hundreds of families and other supporters out for a night of fun in support of a great cause. Special thanks to our co-chairs, Matthew Kutcher and Lynette Lupia for their exemplary leadership, and our many law firm and corporate sponsors who continue to make this great event possible.

18th Annual Pro Bono Week a big success

Hundreds of lawyers, law students, and legal professionals came together during the 18th Annual CBA/CBF Pro Bono Week to celebrate the important pro bono work being done in our community and to learn more about new opportunities to make an impact in the months ahead. Co-chaired by Matthew Walsh of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP and Michael Stone of the Center for Disability & Elder Law, this year’s Pro Bono Week programs and events centered around the theme of Empowering People, Empowering Communities and were another big step in bringing our legal community back together in the evolving new normal.