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November 21, 2013

Hatching an Incubator

CBF Report October 2013

CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project Will Launch Start-up Solo and Small Firms to Expand Access to Affordable Legal Help

Earlier this month the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) officially opened its doors in the West Loop, creating a program where at any given time 30 socially conscious and sustainable solo and small firm law practices will have the opportunity to grow and thrive.With this new collaborative office space, the CBF officially launches its incubator to help newer graduates develop practices that will serve a sizeable gap in our legal market€“clients who earn too much to qualify for free legal aid but not enough to pay traditional lawyer rates. The inaugural group of 10 talented, entrepreneurial newer lawyers started in June and is nearing the end of the first segment of an 18-month program, having collectively contributed nearly 5,000 hours of pro bono service. Already, they are forging connections with one another and the larger legal community while developing and expanding innovative law practices designed to meet real community needs.

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November 15, 2013

Bridging the €˜justice gap’

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
By Roy Strom | Law Bulletin staff writer

As a master’s degree student studying theology, Conor Malloy wanted to help large groups of people liberate themselves from oppression.

But ministry wasn’t his thing. So he chose what he said is the next-most pervasive way to impact social justice: Helping low-and-moderate income families handle legal problems.

The Jesuits really wanted to see me throw on a collar one day, said Malloy, a former Loyola University Chicago theology student and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law graduate. I don’t think I was meant for it. But I think I am doing something similar, just with a little more freedom.

With the help of an initiative announced today by The Chicago Bar Foundation, Malloy might also end up with a little more money in his pocket. He is one of 10 inaugural members of the CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project.

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November 15, 2013

CBF Unveils Innovative West Loop Incubator

Justice Entrepreneurs Project will help new lawyers launch practices serving low and moderate income clients

Chicago’s growing reputation as a hub for innovation once again was on display today as The Chicago Bar Foundation formally unveiled Chicago’s newest incubator in the West Loop, the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP). Through this CBF program, a group of talented and entrepreneurial new lawyers will have the opportunity to launch solo and small firm practices that provide affordable legal services to low and moderate income Chicagoans.

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October 28, 2013

Panel finds modern pro bono lessons in 1962 film

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
By Marc Karlinsky  | Law Bulletin staff writer

Many of the lawyers that gathered at a North Side theater Friday hadn’t read or watched To Kill a Mockingbird since their high school years.

When they did finally revisit the 1962 classic film last week they watched it for credit just as they did years ago.

About 200 attorneys assembled at the Music Box Theatre to cap off Pro Bono Week by viewing the screen adaptation of Harper Lee’s 1960 novel, then discussing how the ethical challenges in the story translate to the real-world practice of law.

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October 17, 2013

A Win-Win for the Legal Community and Access to Justice

CBF Report October 2013

Planting the Seeds for Pro Bono Partnerships and Collaborations

When it comes to pro bono, lawyers in the Chicago area have good reason to be proud of the many talented and creative pro bono advocates at legal aid organizations and law firms, exemplary judicial and bar leadership, and the active participation and support from thousands of attorneys in our legal community.Working together with these partners to ensure that pro bono service most effectively meets community needs is one of the key ways that the CBF is helping to make the justice system more fair and accessible for people in need. As a core part of the CBF’s overall mission to bring the legal community together to improve access to justice, the CBF’s pro bono program works to ensure that attorneys can easily find and connect with pro bono opportunities, promotes best practices and incubates and provides key funding for innovative new pro bono programs.

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October 16, 2013

Legal-aid lawyers learn, then teach

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
By John Flynn Rooney | Law Bulletin Staff Writer

On a Monday and Tuesday last week, 15 legal-aid leaders went through a training program on the ins and outs of trial skills.

The following three days, they taught the same program on opening statements, direct examinations, cross-examinations and closing arguments to about 40 legal-aid […]

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October 11, 2013

More than 50 Legal Aid Advocates Get Complimentary, Top-Notch Trial Skills Training For Free Through Innovative Partnership

Dozens of legal aid advocates from throughout the Chicago area are participating in an acclaimed NITA (National Institute of Trial Advocacy) trial skills training this week thanks to an inventive partnership of NITA, The Chicago Bar Foundation, and the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

There are two components to the training. On Monday, sixteen experienced legal aid trial attorneys completed a two-day teacher training program where they learned the NITA methodology so that they ultimately will become NITA certified instructors. These attorneys then have been teaching alongside experienced NITA instructors during a three-day Advocacy Skills Program, where forty legal aid lawyers have the opportunity to hone their trial advocacy skills. Thanks to Skadden, these programs are taking place in state of the art facilities.

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May 31, 2013

Chicago Bar Foundation sets fundraising record

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services plans to use a $90,000 grant from The Chicago Bar Foundation for the most essential part of its budget electricity, rent and the copy machine.

“General operating funds are incredibly important to us €¦ A lot of foundations don’t want to pay for general (expenses), they want to pay for a special project, something they can put their name on,” said Margaret C. Benson, executive director of CVLS.

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April 19, 2013

Moving forward past indifference to provide equal justice to all

When we talk about The Chicago Bar Foundation’s (CBF) 7th annual Investing in Justice Campaign, we talk about making a difference. In a sense, though, it’s just as much about standing up to indifference. As lawyers, doing nothing about the lack of equal access to justice in our legal system for so many people in need is just not an option. We cannot stand silent or still on this issue. We must move forward.

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