Our Blog


May 22, 2017

Second Chance Expungement Summit

Interested in helping someone get a fresh start? The Cook County Second Chance Expungement Summit will be held on Saturday, June 10. Volunteer attorneys are needed to review the criminal records of attendees, determine whether they qualify for adult expungement or sealing, and assist with the filing of court forms. A required training session for volunteer attorneys will be held on May 31, from 3pm-6pm at 69 W. Washington.

Training is provided by Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and the Cook County Public Defender’s Office. Attorneys may earn up to 2.5 General MCLE credits.

The Second Chance Expungement Summit will be held on Saturday, June 10 at Unity Junior High School, 2115 S. 54th Avenue in Cicero. Learn more/Register

Tags: | read more ...
May 19, 2017

CBF Joins Colleagues from Throughout the Country to Advocate for Access to Justice

The CBF once again co-anchored the Illinois team at the annual ABA Day in Washington last month. Working with our colleagues at the CBA, ISBA and ABA and a number of dedicated volunteers, our Illinois team once again met with the entire Illinois Congressional delegation.

Tags: | | | | read more ...
May 17, 2017

JEP Welcomes New Cohort of Participants

On May 8, the Justice Entrepreneurs Project welcomed a new cohort of participants into the incubator program. They are the ninth class of lawyers to join the JEP network, which now includes over 50 solo and small law firms with lawyers who are currently participating in or have completed the JEP program. We are excited to help these seven attorneys build innovative, affordable, and accessible law practices that meet the needs of low and moderate income people in and around Chicago. The participant attorneys, for their part, are eager to begin their pro bono residencies at CBF-supported legal aid organizations.

Tags: read more ...
May 16, 2017

Free Employment Law Help for Nonprofits

The Law Project of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, DLA Piper, and Corporate Pro Bono are offering a free employment law clinic for nonprofit organizations on Thursday, July 13, 9:45 am to 12:30 pm.

Nonprofits will meet with a team of attorneys who will draft or revise the organization’s vacation and leave policies based on recent Cook County law changes, and will also draft a template separation agreement, providing electronic documents for your organization at the end of the clinic. Nonprofits with 501c3 status that operate in Cook County (including Chicago), and that have employees, are encouraged to complete the intake form. Please email espanglerraz@thelawproject.org with any questions about the clinic.

Tags: read more ...
May 2, 2017

4th Annual Passport to Chicago a Success

On Friday, April 28, more than 200 guests came together for the 4th Annual Passport to Chicago in support of the CBF. At Kendall College, guests enjoyed dishes representing different Chicago neighborhoods, conceived and prepared by members of the Kendall College Competition Club. The creations were paired with a selection of local beers and regional wines, with special tastings provided by Chicago’s Midwest Wine Selections.

Tags: | | read more ...
April 25, 2017

Why Do We Maintain an Artificial Barrier to Innovation and Access to Justice?

As I read the news a couple of weeks ago that the Ford Foundation became the latest institution to commit to impact investing (i.e., investing for social impact as well as financial return), it got me thinking about the many exciting possibilities those types of investments could create for access to justice. And then I quickly remembered that this is largely off limits, because our profession clings to outmoded and artificially limiting rules that prevent lawyers from sharing ownership or profits with outside investors. We have enough challenges in our quest to bridge the gulf in access to legal assistance without having to do it with one hand tied behind our collective back, and it is well past time to remove this barrier.

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

Why Taking Action Matters

Ever wonder what happens when we ask you to take action and contact Congress? This New Yorker article gives a great overview of why taking action matters, what is most effective, and who is answering your call. Quick summary: personalized constituent-based communication is key!

Tags: read more ...
April 24, 2017

An Evolving Partnership to Advance Civil Rights

Kayla, a mother of three holding Housing Choice Vouchers, sought to move her family into a safer neighborhood. Although she was initially welcomed by a landlord to visit the unit, once he discovered that she held federal housing vouchers, he was no longer interested. The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, one of the many […]

Tags: | | read more ...
April 20, 2017

Help Plan Minor Guardianships

Looking for a way to help immigrant families? On Saturday, May 6th from 11-3pm at the Mexican Consulate you can get trained and immediately provide assistance that day for families looking to plan for minor guardianships in the event of deportation. Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) will provide the training, no prior experience is necessary, and Spanish-language interpreters can be provided if needed. Learn more or sign up.

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

They can help you right next to the Starbucks€¦

I am writing this letter today to praise one of your employees€¦ begins a letter thanking CARPLS for excellent legal advice at the Municipal Court Advice Desk and highlighting the especially kind and supportive service received from an Illinois JusticeCorps member as part of the process. This court patron’s letter highlights the unique and important services being provided in The Circuit Court of Cook County Resource Center for People without Lawyers in the concourse level of the Daley Center, which indeed is right next to the Starbucks there.

Tags: | | read more ...