Our Blog


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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August 15, 2016

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services

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, October 13th at 12:15 pm 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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August 12, 2016

We Want Your Feedback on the Student Debt Crisis

The CBF Advocacy Committee is exploring the potential for a comprehensive legislative solution to the student debt crisis. We’d like to get your feedback on our draft memorandum, which includes guiding principles, an overview of the current state of the problem, and an outline of proposed solutions. Let us know what you think by contacting Angela Inzano.

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