Our Blog


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.

Register Online

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.

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June 26, 2017

Investing in Justice Campaign Sets New Records, Leverages Hundreds of Thousands More

The 2017 CBF Investing in Justice Campaign set new records in individual donations while raising awareness and critical funding for pro bono and legal aid services in the Chicago area. 153 law firms, corporate legal departments and other law-related organizations participated in this year’s Campaign, which was chaired by Jesse H. Ruiz, partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. Nearly 5,100 individual attorneys and legal professionals contributed more than $1.51 million, both the highest amounts in the Campaign’s 11-year history.

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June 26, 2017

Removing Barriers for People with Disabilities

Access Living was founded in 1980 as one of the nation’s first ten Centers for Independent Living (CILs). The organization’s goal is simple: to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as those without disabilities to conduct lives of dignity and independence. With departments specializing in independent living skills, advocacy, and legal services, Access Living provides a unique combination of assistance in championing the rights and empowerment of people with disabilities. Access Living is the only CIL that has a Legal Services Program, and it is this impactful program that you support through the Investing in Justice Campaign.

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June 23, 2017

New LSC Study on the Justice Gap

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) released a comprehensive new study last week that shows the number of low-income Americans in need of legal help far exceeds the legal aid services available to help them. We encourage you to continue reaching out to Senators Durbin and Duckworth and your member of Congress to thank them for their continued support of strong funding for LSC.

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June 16, 2017

CARPLS Hotline

Interested in non-litigation pro bono work with flexible day and evening training/volunteer options? CARPLS, the Cook County legal aid hotline, offers the majority of its training online, and the next in-person portion will be offered on July 12 at 10am, 2pm, or 5:30pm. No experience is required and attendees will receive CLE credit.

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