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November 21, 2014

The President’s Administrative Action on Immigration and the Way Forward

When it comes to immigration, the one thing that all sides agree upon is that our current system is broken.  It is a system that is out of step with our nation’s economic and security needs and core values, and a system that has led to 11 million people living, working, and contributing to our country with no realistic path to legal status.  Despite consistently strong public backing for comprehensive reform of this system and a reform bill that passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support, Congress has yet to pass a bill, and the House shows no credible signs of doing so.

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November 21, 2014

CVLS Celebrates 50 Years of Pro Bono

Pro bono legal work was almost unheard of 50 years ago, and to the extent it was, it was often frowned upon. With that backdrop, attorney John Ferren and a group of young lawyers founded Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) on June 2, 1964.

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November 21, 2014

Your Updated Resource for Pro Bono Opportunities

The CBF recently updated our popular Pro Bono Opportunities Guide, which is a comprehensive resource designed to help attorneys find and connect with pro bono opportunities particularly suited to their interests, skills and schedules.

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November 4, 2014

Fulfilling Your Responsibility as a Trustee of the Justice System

CBF Report October 2014

Fulfilling Your Responsibility as a Trustee of the Justice System
Time, Money, and Influence

While we all get called on to support a lot of causes, the justice system is our home turf as lawyers and legal professionals. Wherever you are in the legal community, you are a trustee of the justice system, and it is our common cause to make sure the system is fair and accessible for all people regardless of their income or circumstances.

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November 3, 2014

Pro Bono Week 2014 Recap

The Chicago Bar Association and the CBF co-sponsored the 10th Anniversary Celebration of Pro Bono Week from October 20-24, 2014, with the theme of Lifting Lives, Strengthening Access. Margaret C. Benson, the Executive Director of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, and the Honorable Michael B. Hyman, a Justice on the First District Appellate Court, led the 10th Anniversary Celebration. E. Lynn Grayson, a Partner at Jenner & Block LLP, and Matthew A. Passen, a Partner at Passen Law Group, co-chaired the Week.

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October 15, 2014

Lawndale Christian Legal Center

Based in North Lawndale, LCLC serves the neighborhood’s youth, ages 24 and younger, involved with the criminal justice system. The organization’s mission is to provide holistic integrated legal and social services.

We don’t just deal with a youth’s legal case in isolation, but walk alongside them through whatever they’re dealing with socially as well to become good citizens and leaders, said Danae Kovac, LCLC director of operations and development.

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October 14, 2014

Andersons Continue to Lead by Example with $250,000 Gift to Renew Fellowship

A report on the financial challenges facing public interest lawyers caught the attention of Kimball Anderson while he was the leadership track on the CBF Board 12 years ago. The report revealed that these lawyers were not only underpaid, but many carried exorbitant school debt, causing them to leave the sector after a year or two.

At the time, however, a law school debt of $60,000 was considered to be high; today, it is not unusual for a recent grad to be saddled with a six-figure burden. In response to skyrocketing student debt, Kimball and his wife Karen Gatsis Anderson, notable philanthropists and Chicago attorneys, funded a groundbreaking public interest fellowship through the CBF in 2002 to help dedicated lawyers pursue these important careers. This year, the Andersons decided to renew their eponymous fellowship with the CBF for another five years, which will award five outstanding new legal aid lawyers $50,000 each to help with repayment of their law school debt. It is the couple’s second renewal since the fellowship was first awarded in 2003.

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October 10, 2014

Pro Bono Week 2014: A Big Anniversary to Celebrate!

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Pro Bono Week with us in Chicago, where it all started!

This year’s theme is Lifting Lives, Strengthening Access and it all takes place the week of October 20th, when you and your colleagues in the legal community can come together for fun events, complimentary CLE programs, and the 21st Annual Pro Bono and Community Service Fair.

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October 3, 2014

What Can We Help You With Today?

CBF Report September 2014

What Can We Help You With Today?

This is the phrase heard over and over in the concourse level of the Daley Center, as court patrons visit the new Circuit Court of Cook County Resource Center for People Without Lawyers. The Center is a major milestone in the longer-term effort to make the court system more user-friendly and accessible for people without lawyers, a key goal of both the CBF and the Circuit Court.

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September 18, 2014

New Referral Pad for People without Lawyers

In August 2014, the CBF printed an updated version of our Referral Pad for People without Lawyers at the Daley Center. Email Kelly Tautges at ktautges@chicagobar.org for copies. Updated versions for Markham and Rolling Meadows will be available soon.

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