Our Blog


March 15, 2021

jep logoJEP Applications are Now Open

The CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) is seeking entrepreneurial and social justice-minded applicants for its next class of participants who will begin the program in June 2021. 

Interested in obtaining the skills and resources necessary to build an innovative and successful law practice? Interested in making a positive impact on your community as a social entrepreneur? The JEP is an […]

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March 15, 2021

court buildingNew Supreme Court Rule Expands the Use of Electronic Signatures

When the pandemic arrived last March, we quickly learned how much could be done remotely – remote court, remote school, remote happy hour. However, the pandemic also shined a light on some of the outdated court rules and procedures that prevented basic tasks from working well remotely.

One stark example was the limits on the use of electronic signatures on court documents. In the best of times, this would be an inefficient roadblock to access to the courts, but during the pandemic, it often forced people to put their own health and the health of others at risk or be effectively shut out of the system even in matters that could be critical to their safety and independence.

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March 3, 2021

Gil Soffer to Chair 2021 Investing in Justice Campaign

The CBF is excited to announce that Gil Soffer, managing partner at Katten Muchin & Rosenman LLP, will lead the CBF’s 15th Annual Investing in Justice Campaign. The Campaign is the CBF’s annual initiative that rallies Chicago’s entire legal community around our common cause of ensuring that everyone has access to necessary legal help, not just […]

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February 24, 2021

Start With Why

You may recognize that as the title of one of the all-time great business books by Simon Sinek. While I highly recommend the book if you have not read it (as well as his TED Talk on the subject), I borrowed his title for this month’s post, because it offers a great roadmap for the next chapter in my 2021 Resolution series: building a better new normal for offices, conferences, and trainings.

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February 22, 2021

elena dennisThank You Elena and Good Luck!

February brought the bittersweet news that our Director of Development & Communications, Elena Dennis, is going to be leaving us at the end of the month for a new position with LINK Unlimited Scholars. LINK Unlimited is an impressive organization helping African American youth to succeed in high school and beyond, and Elena will have […]

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February 15, 2021

2020 Selected Legal Aid Highlights

In January, the Chicago Bar Association Legal Aid Committee celebrated the impressive achievements of 25+ legal aid organizations here in the Chicagoland area in 2020. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, these dedicated institutions have demonstrated tremendous innovation and have continued to serve the legal needs of underrepresented communities.

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January 26, 2021

Cy Pres Awards Continue to Advance Access to Justice Through the CBF

Cy pres awards have played a big part in the CBF’s growth and impact over the years, and this past year was no exception. These awards come from residual funds in class action cases (and sometimes other types of proceedings) that, for any number of reasons, are unclaimed or cannot be distributed to the class […]

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January 25, 2021

student debt proposal overviewSustainable Solutions to the Student Debt Crisis

Amidst the welcome national attention and commitments in the new Administration and Congress to tackle the student debt crisis, the CBF held a briefing this month to discuss long-term and sustainable solutions to this overarching problem.

As recent law graduates are fully aware, lawyers often leave school with significant amounts of debt. For those choosing higher-paying […]

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January 23, 2021

screenshot of 16th jep cohort bootcampSixteenth JEP Cohort Kicks Off 18-Month Program

On January 11, the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project welcomed its sixteenth cohort into the program. Similar to our last cohort, these four attorneys—Daniel Bruce, Amy Cook, Terra Gross, and India Rios—are eager to take on the immense challenges and need created by COVID-19 by starting innovative, socially conscious practices helping everyday people and small businesses. The new JEPers join over 60 attorneys currently in the JEP Network.

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January 21, 2021

covid bots imageNew Chatbot Offers 24/7 Information and Referrals for Pandemic Related Legal Issues

COVID Housing and Economic Loss Prevention (COVID HELP) is a new online navigation tool designed to guide Illinois residents to up-to-date information and referrals for common COVID-related legal issues including housing, debt, unemployment, bankruptcy, and guardianship issues. Through the website, users can connect 24/7 with a team of chatbots designed and created by legal aid experts to provide answers to common questions and automated referrals for more complex legal issues.

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