Our Blog


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

stopalong logoFrom 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

your campaign in action iconIllinois’ 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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July 20, 2016

People Have the Power

Monday was the CBA and CBF’s 18th Annual Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon, where about 700 attendees helped us honor seven unsung heroes of our profession who make us all proud to be part of Chicago’s legal community. This was the third year that we started the Luncheon with a song to help set a theme for the day, and this year’s song was Patti Smith’s classic, People Have the Power. The song is a particularly fitting tribute to the exemplary pro bono and public service work we celebrate at the Luncheon and highlights two important themes in the ongoing quest to ensure the justice system is truly fair and accessible for everyone.

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July 20, 2016

your campaign in action iconLet’s Take It Outside: Resolving Conflict Outside of the Courtroom

It’s hard to come to a mutual agreement when you’re fighting about an emotionally charged topic. Especially if that topic is child custody with a former spouse.

Mike and Kelly created a parenting schedule when they first got divorced, but that plan began to erode over time, as did their communication. Kelly prohibited Mike from seeing their daughters on school nights because he didn’t make the girls do their homework when he was with them. Wanting to explore his options, Mike opened a case for mediation with the Center for Conflict Resolution.

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July 20, 2016

timothy hufmanTimothy Hufman Accepts the 2016 Morsch Public Service Award

We all know that life can be unfair and sometimes even cruel.

I am reminded of a boy named Julio, whom I met in the 1970s while I was running a group home for teenage boys in New York City. When Julio came to me, he was 15 years old and terribly scarred over his entire face and body due to third-degree burns he suffered as a boy when he was trapped in his Bronx apartment during a fire. Thereafter, whenever he did anything wrong, his parents punished him by holding a lit candle to his face. That abuse continued until his parents threw him out of the home at the age of 15 to fend for himself.

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