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September 7, 2017

Support the DREAM Act

President Trump’s decision this week to end the DACA program leaves thousands of young people who have done nothing wrong in legal limbo. These dreamers are making huge contributions to our economy, our communities, and our country. The bipartisan DREAM Act fixes this crucial flaw in our nation’s broken immigration laws by creating a legal path for these young people to gain permanent legal status and continue contributing to their communities. Please contact Senator Durbin and thank him for his leadership in cosponsoring the DREAM Act, and encourage Senator Duckworth and your local Representative in Congress to support the Act (S.1615/H.R. 3440), which promotes our nation’s core values and the rule of law.

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August 29, 2017

Mediate the CCR Way: The Essentials of the CCR Model

Have you ever wondered if mediation is for you but didn’t have the resources to commit to a standard 40-hour training program? Attend the Center for Conflict Resolution’s one day training on November 4th to learn the basics, how to become a CCR volunteer, and earn six CLE credits.

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August 24, 2017

Forcible Entry and Detainer No More

Last week, Governor Rauner signed Public Act 100-0173 into law, simplifying the law governing evictions in Illinois by changing the confusing title and archaic language of the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act. The CBA and CBF partnered this year to spearhead this legislative initiative. By changing the name of the Act to the Eviction Act, and changing the similarly confusing name of the order used for evictions from order of possession to eviction order, the eviction process will now be more user-friendly and understandable for tenants and landlords alike.

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August 24, 2017

Put Yourself in Your Own Shoes Part 2 (Where I Answer My Own Questions)

In my June post, I suggested we should look at our profession and the market for legal services by putting ourselves in our own shoes when we look for other professional services. So what does that look like? I raised the questions in June. Now I’ll give my best shot at answering them.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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