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October 13, 2016

Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Reporting Rule and You

All Illinois lawyers can expect to receive their annual ARDC registration statements this month, which again will include questions about their pro bono work and related financial contributions over the past year pursuant to the pro bono reporting requirement adopted by the Supreme Court in 2006. If you haven’t taken a pro bono case or made a financial contribution yet this year, it’s not too late. There’s still time for you to get involved and contribute before you complete your registration, and below are some resources to help you do that.

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September 29, 2016

The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be

The legendary Yogi Berra was the source of so many great quotes that they became the source for a whole book, and his quote about the future is a very fitting title for my concluding post in the legal future series I kicked off back in January.

When it comes to the legal profession and access to justice, the future surely does look a lot different than it would have even a few years ago, and that is largely a good thing. While many of us face new professional challenges today that were not present ten years ago, we all have promising opportunities that could fundamentally change access to justice for the better while making for a happier, healthier and more effective legal profession for many years to come.

Another sports legend, Wayne Gretzky, offers us great advice as we look out towards that future: skate to where the puck is going, not where the puck has been.

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September 28, 2016

Removing Legal Obstacles to Artistic Dreams

Chicago is known for its thriving arts scene, which is a big draw for both locals and tourists alike and an increasingly potent economic force for the city. A number of talented individuals and organizations make up that thriving arts scene, and a lot goes into their success. Perhaps the most underrated component of success in the arts is the availability of good legal help, particularly when individuals and organizations are just getting started.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts is the only nonprofit in Chicago that offers legal assistance to financially eligible artists and small arts organizations, and is also one of the many outstanding organizations you are supporting through the Investing in Justice Campaign.

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September 27, 2016

Advocacy Workshop

On November 17th, from 8 to 9:30 am (location TBD), after all the election results are in and the dust has settled, the CBF will hold its 3rd annual Advocacy Workshop. Larry Suffredin, CBA Legislative Counsel and Cook County Board Commissioner, will discuss what the results mean for access to justice on the local, state, and federal level. 1 hour of CLE credit is expected. To register, or for more information, email Angela Inzano.

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September 15, 2016

Kelly Tautges Receives the ACC’s Thurgood Marshall Award

Kelly Tautges, CBF Director of Pro Bono and Court Advocacy, was awarded with the prestigious Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence from the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel at last night’s Annual In-House Counsel Celebration Dinner. The award celebrates the contributions of a person who exemplifies Justice Marshall’s commitment to access to justice and […]

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September 9, 2016

Sun-Times Fellowship Recipients Selected

Congratulations to the outstanding legal aid attorneys selected to receive the 2016 CBF Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship:

  • Lesley Arizmendi, Equip for Equality
  • Adrian Barr, Prairie State Legal Services
  • Graham Bowman, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
  • Virginia Torres, Life Span
  • Samoane Williams, First Defense Legal Aid
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August 31, 2016

From the JEP to Pizza The StopAlong Opens Today

As Director of the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project from 2013 to 2015, Taylor Hammond guided dozens of newer lawyers in starting their innovative practices. From determining what services to offer clients, to dotting the i’s on insurance coverage, he watched JEP participants build thriving businesses from the ground up. And then he got the entrepreneur itch […]

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August 18, 2016

And the #1 Reason People Don’t Have a Lawyer When They Need One Is€¦

With children and young people everywhere getting ready to head back to school, I thought I’d start today’s post with a short pop quiz:

Name the #1 reason why people don’t use lawyers when they encounter a legal issue:

A.     Believe it wouldn’t make any difference

B.     Too expensive/can’t afford it

C.     Don’t recognize a need for legal advice

D.    Don’t know how or where to find one

E.     Determined to handle it on their own

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August 17, 2016

Illinois’ Legal Aid Tech Hub Gets a New Platform

Back in 1999, when planning for the project that would become today’s Illinois Legal Aid Online first began, the state of technology was quite a bit different than today. Computers were just starting to become common on lawyers’ desks, and large numbers of people did not have access to computers in their homes. Smart phones, Facebook and Twitter weren’t on anyone’s radar yet and would not come on to the scene for several more years.

Even so, there were a few visionaries back then who believed that we could do a much better job of delivering legal information and resources to pro bono and legal aid lawyers and to the public by harnessing the power of the internet. After a lot of planning and often spirited discussions, that vision became a reality in 2001 when Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), one of the many outstanding organizations you are supporting through the Investing in Justice Campaign, officially was formed. Along with Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, the CBF provided the necessary seed funding and was one of the founding partners of ILAO, which initially was called the Illinois Technology Center for Law and the Public Interest.

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August 17, 2016

Art SussmanArt Sussman (1942-2016)

The CBF mourns the passing of Art Sussman, a great lawyer and an even better person. Among Art’s many contributions to making our community a better place over the course of his accomplished legal career, Art was one of the charter members of the Steering Committee that developed the CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project. Art played an integral part in taking the kernels of a good idea to shape and grow the JEP into the thriving initiative it is today. The MacArthur Foundation and the University of Chicago both published good articles about Art and a life well lived, and we extend our condolences to Art’s family and many friends.

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