The Price of Admission to the Courts: Tackling a Barrier to Access to Justice

The events in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 and their aftermath shined a national spotlight on an access to justice issue that too often was previously below the radar: the undue burden that court fees and fines can present for low-income and disadvantaged members of the community.

Illinois already was ahead of the game in recognizing these […]

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Leading By Example

Law firms and corporations play an integral role in the CBF and the larger cause of equal access to justice in many ways. Before 2008, however, our community lacked the means to recognize those firms and companies who embody best practices in their leadership and comprehensive support for the cause.

Then, as now, firms and companies […]

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Guiding the Gatekeepers

Often, when a person goes to court without a lawyer, the first person they interact with will be a court clerk. Clerks often serve as the gatekeepers of the court, playing a pivotal role any time a litigant tries to file a document, request a court order, check in for a hearing, or pay a […]

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It was 6 ½ Years Ago Today…

Granted, that is not as catchy as the Beatles’ lyrics in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. But in access to justice circles, it was a pretty big deal.

It was June 13, 2012, to be exact, when the Illinois Supreme Court entered the order creating the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice, and […]

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JEP Network Embodies Best Practices

At the beginning of summer in 2013, ten attorneys signed on to a program that offered them the training, resources, and connections they’d need to launch innovative and socially conscious solo and small law firms that serve low and middle income clients. The CBF had done its research; we knew the need for affordable services […]

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A Legacy of Justice

2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow Lee Robbins. EJW Fellowships are just one initiative the Brode Fund has made possible through the CBF.

As a public foundation, the good work of the CBF is only possible through the voluntary support of thousands of individuals and dedicated partners who contribute in so many different ways. And everyone […]

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A Partnership to Benefit All

More than 200 law firms, corporate law departments and other law-related businesses of all sizes in the Chicago area are vital partners with the CBF in the larger cause of ensuring the justice system is fair and accessible for everyone in our community.

These dedicated firms and companies provide core funding for the CBF’s work as […]

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A Society for Access to Justice

A quick Google search of the meaning of the word “society” yields the following phrases: “the community of people living in a particular country or region and having shared customs, laws and organizations,” and “an organization or club formed for a particular purpose or activity.”

Those two definitions together exemplify the purpose of the CBF Justice […]

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Life Fellows Laid Foundation for the CBF

As we continue to celebrate the CBF’s 70th Anniversary this year, we take pride in the fact that the CBF has long been a powerful force for good thanks to the strong support of Chicago’s legal community. That never would have happened, however, without the leadership and generous support of a number of dedicated individuals […]

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The Legal Aid Hall of Fame

2007 CBF Morsch Award recipient, Ann Hilton Fisher, with Tom Morsch.

To wrap up his term as CBF President, Tom Morsch had an inspiring vision. A leader in Chicago’s legal community and a pro bono pioneer, Tom always felt that lawyers in private practice received a disproportionate amount of recognition for their pro bono contributions […]

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