Our Blog


August 23, 2017

Chris Lee Awarded 2017 Marovitz Scholarship

Christen David Lee started each of his high school days on the bus from his home in Austin and North Lawndale to Lincoln Park High School. Outside the windows, he watched the blocks of vacant lots and dilapidated buildings of the city’s west side slowly change into an entirely different world, where mansions sat across the street from his school. Chris, recipient of the 2017 CBF Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship, was struck by the incredible inequalities of Chicago.

Tags: | read more ...
August 21, 2017

Navigating People Through the Maze of Bankruptcy

The Bankruptcy Court Self Help Assistance Desk, run by Legal Aid Chicago, does just what you would expect it to do helps clients file for bankruptcy as they seek relief from suffocating piles of debt. But as with bankruptcy itself, the full reality is much more complicated and the help much more far-reaching than that.

The Desk aids unrepresented filers at every point in the bankruptcy process, which can be daunting and complex. In Room 622 of the Dirksen Building, pro bono attorneys and lawyers from Legal Aid Chicago answer general questions about bankruptcy, help visitors decide if bankruptcy is their best option, and help prepare forms for people without lawyers in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The Desk eases the burden on the court by helping patrons evaluate their options before unnecessarily filing for bankruptcy. Each year, about 44,000 bankruptcy cases are filed in the Northern District of Illinois, the most in the country, so every bit of paperwork reduction helps the court run more efficiently. Launched in 2007 as a partnership with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Legal Aid Chicago and the CBF, the Desk is one of the many projects you make possible through the Investing in Justice Campaign.

Tags: | | | read more ...
July 26, 2017

Stand Up for Justice

As we got ready to honor eight truly outstanding lawyers at this year’s CBA and CBF’s Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon, I found some inspiration for my closing remarks while watching Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, where they once again took a break in the middle of the game for Stand up to Cancer.

Tags: read more ...
July 25, 2017

Take Action: Support LSC Funding

As the FY18 federal budget process continues, the relevant Senate Subcommittee has approved level funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) at $385 million. We encourage you to thank Senators Durbin and Duckworth for their strong support and to advocate with your Representative in the House to continue to support full funding for LSC.

Take Action

Tags: | | | read more ...
July 24, 2017

CBF Welcomes New Board President and Members

The CBF is excited to welcome Terrence J. Dee  as our 36th Board President for the 2017-2018 term. A Partner at McDermott Will & Emery, Terry focuses his practice on product liability, class action, trade secrets, and other complex litigation. He has tried cases in federal and state courts throughout the country, including Illinois, Ohio, Washington, DC, Maryland, Arizona and Missouri, and has handled numerous commercial arbitrations.

Terry is also strongly committed to the cause of equal access to justice. He has served on the CBF board since 2011 where he has particularly played a lead role in the CBF’s development efforts, and also served on the board of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. His dedication puts him in an excellent position to continue advancing the CBF’s mission, especially following an impactful year under outgoing CBF President Chuck Smith’s exemplary leadership.

Tags: read more ...
July 21, 2017

Pro Bono Opportunities with CVLS

Interested in doing pro bono work and want the opportunity to explore different types of cases and time commitments? Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) is having a new volunteer orientation on Thursday, August 24th at 12:15pm at their offices (33 N. Dearborn St., #400) where you can sit down with a CVLS staff attorney as they take you through the ins and outs of being a CVLS pro bono attorney.

Register Online

Tags: | | read more ...
July 18, 2017

CBF awards highlight pro bono attorneys

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
By David Thomas  |  Law Bulletin staff writer

Not all attorneys can dedicate themselves to pro bono or public-interest work, but every attorney regardless of his or her practice can show up.

You can show up at legal clinics. We can show up at our legal clinics and our firms, said Gary K. Wachtel, a senior director at Discover Financial Services. We just have to continue to show up, giving our time, expertise and resources, and give profound help to those in need.

Wachtel’s comments came after he was announced as the recipient of the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award at The Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation’s annual pro bono and public service luncheon. Read the article…

Tags: | | | | | read more ...
July 18, 2017

Honoring Careers of Dedication and Service

Eight attorneys recognized for outstanding work at the CBA and CBF Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon

Eight unsung heroes in the legal profession were recognized and celebrated for their extraordinary service to the community at the CBA and CBF’s 19th Annual Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon on July 17, 2017.

About 700 people attended this year’s event held at the Fairmont Hotel Chicago, co-chaired by David Bamlango, a partner at DLA Piper LLP (US), and Susan L. Lees, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Allstate Insurance Company.

This year’s award recipients were recognized for their unflagging commitment to advancing access to justice and inspiring others to do likewise.

Tags: | | | read more ...
June 30, 2017

Fund campaign for legal aid sets another record

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
By Emily Donovan  |  Law Bulletin Staff Writer

The Chicago Bar Foundation’s Investing in Justice Campaign collected more than $1.5 million from donors and $600,000 in grants this year.

The donations will be used for local pro bono and legal aid organizations.

It’s a foundation record, following a pattern since the campaign first launched 10 years ago.

It keeps growing, and we think it still has room to keep doing that, said Robert A. Glaves, foundation executive director. Read more…

Tags: | | read more ...
June 27, 2017

Put Yourself in Your Own Shoes

When it comes to improving access to justice, one of the most important things we can do as a profession is to put ourselves in the shoes of our clients and potential clients. Looking at things through the lens of our customers opens the door to a myriad of ideas for improving how our profession markets and delivers legal services and revamping the design and operation of the court system. In many ways though, we only need to put ourselves in our own shoes and look in the mirror to see how we can do better.

Tags: | read more ...