Our Blog


July 27, 2018

Summer Fun with the CBF Young Professionals Board

A Chicago summer is short, but there’s always time for hanging out with friends and enjoying the weather while it lasts. In our first 70 years at the CBF, one of our key goals in bringing Chicago’s legal community together around our common cause of equal access to justice always has been to have fun […]

Tags: | | read more ...
July 26, 2018

CBF Op-ed in Crain’s Makes the Case for Innovation in the Practice of Law

In an op-ed in Crain’s Chicago Business, CBF President Carrie Di Santo and CBF Executive Director Bob Glaves lay out why the Chicago legal community needs to commit to doing things differently and how that will expand legal assistance for people left out of the market now.

While the causes of the current failure in the market for legal services are complex and long in the making, the urgency for change could not be clearer. Unfortunately, too many lawyers don’t see the problems firsthand in their practices and thus cling to long-held traditions despite stark evidence that the current system is not working for the majority of the public.

Read the article…

Tags: | read more ...
July 25, 2018

70 Years of CBF Presidents

As we welcome Carrie Di Santo as the CBF’s 37th President since our inception in 1948, we reflect on the many leaders in Chicago’s legal community and beyond who have steered the CBF.

Past Presidents of the CBF include legal legends like George Overton and Esther Rothstein, general counsel of Fortune 500 companies, founders and leaders of prominent law firms, and many other noteworthy leaders in Chicago’s legal community.

Tags: | | read more ...
July 24, 2018

A Fool for a Client? How to Avoid Playing the Fool

Part 4 of a 4-part series

Having identified the core roles lawyers play that are most important for someone facing a legal problem and what that means for our profession, today’s series finale looks at things from the perspective of the person facing a legal problem.

How can we best help people facing legal issues assess when they realistically can do things on their own, when they need a lawyer, and how much lawyer they need to achieve a just yet cost-effective outcome for their case?

Tags: | read more ...
July 23, 2018

Terry Dee Wraps Up Successful Year as CBF President

The CBF is grateful for the vision, commitment, and leadership of Terry Dee as our 36th Board President over the last year and throughout the many years of his involvement with the CBF.

Even before he joined the board in 2011, Terry was a leader in pro bono and the Investing in Justice Campaign at Kirkland & Ellis. Now at McDermott Will & Emery, Terry has continued that leadership and accomplished much more, taking development efforts to a new level as chair of the Development Committee and setting an example in his own support. He has recently become more involved in the CBF’s advocacy work also. Throughout his involvement, Terry has been a terrific leader and representative for the CBF in the community.

Tags: read more ...
July 23, 2018

Carrie Di Santo Takes the Helm as New CBF President

Carrie Di Santo, global chief compliance officer and managing director of enterprise risk management at CME Group, is the 37th President of The Chicago Bar Foundation.

At the CBF’s board meeting today, outgoing CBF President Terry Dee passed the proverbial gavel to Carrie. Other CBF Officers for fiscal year 2019 include:

Tags: read more ...
July 19, 2018

Connecting Lawyers to Pro Bono Through the Years

We all know that pro bono service is a vital part of the practice of law. It’s easy to see the many benefits of pro bono to the client, the profession, the court, and the volunteer. It can be challenging, however, to know where to start.

Understanding how busy lawyers can be, the CBF works to remove barriers to doing pro bono and connect lawyers to the many great opportunities to get involved. Since 1992, the CBF has worked with dozens of pro bono and legal aid organizations to create a comprehensive resource that helps prospective volunteers understand the pro bono landscape and connect with volunteer opportunities. The Guide to Volunteer Opportunities for Pro Bono Attorneys in the Chicago Area sorts pro bono opportunities by area of law, population served, partner organization, and type of activity, making it easier than ever to quickly identify opportunities that are a good fit.

Tags: | read more ...
July 17, 2018

The CBF at 70: In the Words of Our Partners

As the CBF turns 70 this year, we are grateful for you and the thousands of other individuals, hundreds of law firms and companies, and many other dedicated partners who have made it possible for the CBF to grow and thrive.

In a video celebrating this milestone year, you can watch a few of these partners share in their own words the impact we have already made together and why it remains so important going forward.

Tags: read more ...
July 16, 2018

Helping People Without Lawyers in the Courts

Each year, a growing number of people are forced to navigate the court system on their own, with the latest national statistics showing that in a shocking three out of four civil cases at least one party is unrepresented.

One of the CBF’s top priorities over the years has been helping to make the courts more user-friendly and accessible for these growing numbers of people without lawyers. An important part of these efforts has been the CBF’s work with a number of other partners to establish and support a network of advice desks in the state and federal courts.

Tags: | | read more ...
July 10, 2018

CBF Anderson Fellows Changing Chicago for the Better

As the CBF celebrates our 70th Anniversary, we look back to the beginning of the CBF Anderson Fellowship and the tremendous impact this program has made on the 15 Fellows honored to date and the thousands of Chicagoans who benefitted from the high quality legal help these dedicated lawyers have provided.

In 2003, then CBF President Kimball Anderson and his wife Karen set an extraordinary precedent for others in the legal community by creating the CBF Anderson Fellowship. The Fellowship provides significant loan repayment assistance to outstanding recent law school graduates and helps make it possible for them to pursue and remain in legal aid careers despite often overwhelming financial challenges. Since their original gift, the Andersons have continually renewed their support for this groundbreaking fellowship, which has inspired similar programs. Each year, the CBF awards one $50,000 fellowship (payable over 5 years) to help a newer lawyer repay their student loans, which can exceed their mortgage or rent payments.

Tags: | | | read more ...