Our Blog


June 26, 2019

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Jim Harbaugh came through town last week, but not on a recruiting trip for Michigan. He was here in his role as a member of the Leaders Council for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), where he joined in a fitting tribute to LSC’s board chair and long-time champion for the cause, John Levi.

In the course of his heartfelt toast to Levi, Coach Harbaugh used a football analogy to illustrate what it means when someone has to fend for themselves in a contested court case: it is like a game where one team has to play without helmets and pads. You don’t have to stretch your imagination to recognize that team would get routed and end up with some serious injuries.

I thought this was a great analogy that most everyday Americans can connect to and understand, and it also offers an interesting framework for tackling the broader barriers to equal access to justice.

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June 26, 2019

New Incubator Launches in Colorado with Helping Hand from the CBF

Earlier this month, the CBF and our Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) gained a new partner in the cause with the official launch of the Legal Entrepreneurs for Justice (LEJ) incubator in Denver.

Over the years since the CBF developed and launched the JEP, one of our goals for the program has been to identify successful […]

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May 30, 2019

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

Tens of thousands of people in need will receive critical legal assistance thanks to more than 5,200 individual contributors at 150 participating firms, companies and organizations

The Chicago Bar Foundation is proud to announce record-breaking results for the 2019 Investing in Justice Campaign. More than 5,200 individuals joined together to contribute $1.56 million, the highest amount […]

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May 24, 2019

Celebrating Ten Years of A+ Training

For the past ten years, the CBF Legal Aid Academy has provided free, high-quality training and professional development opportunities for hundreds of legal aid attorneys to develop valuable skills so that they can better serve our community. With the help of generous pro bono contributions of time and expertise from attorneys, law firms, and CLE providers, the Academy has been able to continuously provide these professional development opportunities for Chicago’s legal aid community.

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May 23, 2019

The Affordability Action Plan

Over the course of the past several months, I’ve used this blog to discuss four big issues our legal profession needs to address to carry out my 2019 Resolution: to tackle our affordability problem for everyday people. The common denominator on these issues is that the solutions to making legal services more affordable and accessible to the middle class are almost entirely within our power as a profession and court system. 

To paraphrase a famous saying, we have met the enemy, and it is us. The following, interconnected action plan can help us defeat that enemy and strike a major blow for access to justice in the process.

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May 22, 2019

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps

Each spring, the CBF chooses two days to invite our dedicated volunteers to go to Springfield to join in the CBF’s advocacy work. This year, on April 30th and May 1st, members of the CBF Advocacy Committee and Young Professionals Board traveled down to advocate for access to justice initiatives and learn more about how […]

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May 20, 2019

JEP Reaches Its Teens, Welcomes 13th Cohort

This month, the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project brought seven motivated attorneys into the program, starting them on a path towards establishing and operating innovative and affordable law firms. The new JEPers join a network of over 50 alumni and current participants who are still on that path. For the thirteenth time, CBF Executive Director Bob […]

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April 26, 2019

What Do Courts Have to Do with the Affordability of Legal Services?

Quite a lot, as a matter of fact. The fundamental mission of the courts is to deliver justice for all by protecting rights and liberties, upholding the rule of law, and serving as fair and neutral arbiters to resolve disputes. Promoting affordable legal representation is a central part of fulfilling that mission, yet some of the key steps to doing so are too often overlooked by courts today.

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April 25, 2019

Cherry Blossoms and Access to Justice: Your Foundation in D.C.

The CBF was proud to once again join the Illinois State Bar Association in leading a group of dedicated volunteers from Illinois who traveled to Washington D.C. to take part in the American Bar Association’s annual ABA Day in Washington.

Each year, Congress considers legislation and budget issues
that impact access to justice, the court system, and the legal profession.
That’s why it is vital that leaders in our legal community in Chicago, and across Illinois, engage with our members of Congress on important issues impacting access to justice for Illinois residents.

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April 24, 2019

Illinois JusticeCorps Seeking Fellowship Applications

Illinois JusticeCorps is looking for applicants for full-time fellowship positions for the upcoming program year, August 2019 through August 2020.

Illinois JusticeCorps is an innovative AmeriCorps program through which college students and recent graduates provide procedural and other neutral assistance in the courts. Illinois JusticeCorps recruits, trains and provides the necessary support for these guides to make courts across Illinois more welcoming and less intimidating for people without lawyers.

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