Our Blog


July 25, 2018

cbf presidents70 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.

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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?

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July 23, 2018

terry dee and carrie disanto presidentsTerry 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.

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July 23, 2018

carrie disanto speaking at board meetingCarrie 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:

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July 19, 2018

samira holding pro bono guidesConnecting 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.

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July 17, 2018

cbf 70th anniversary video screenshotThe 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.

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July 16, 2018

judge hibbler help deskHelping 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.

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July 10, 2018

karen and kimball anderson and fellowsCBF 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.

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July 5, 2018

tommy wells aba day awardAdvocacy and Access to Justice

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, the CBF is reflecting on the legislative advocacy work that has been an integral part of fulfilling our nation’s promise of equal access to justice for all. We look forward to highlighting a number of specific successful initiatives over the course of our 70th Anniversary year.

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June 28, 2018

meg benson receives morsch awardHonoring Unsung Heroes in Pro Bono and Public Service

As the CBF marks our 70th Anniversary this year, we also celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the CBF’s main events.

Next month we will host the 20th Annual CBA and CBF Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon, which has become a signature event in Chicago’s legal community to recognize and honor unsung heroes in our profession who have shown exemplary commitment to the ideals of equal access to justice.

We have been privileged to honor some truly amazing lawyers over the years, and look forward to honoring another great group at this year’s Luncheon on July 12, 2018.

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