Our Blog


June 2, 2015

A financial safety net for Chicago’s legal safety nets

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
By Jamie Loo  |  Law Bulletin Staff Writer

Without a parent or guardian and no place to call home, a homeless teenager is faced with many challenges and in some cases can’t even enroll in school.

Fortunately for those teens, there are organizations such as the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ Law Project to advocate for their right to enroll in school and access other benefits.

The groups providing support need their own financial support to stay open and keep serving the community and for some, funding from The Chicago Bar Foundation has served as a lifeline.

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May 27, 2015

your campaign in action iconWhen Victims Become the Accused

For years, the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) was inadvertently setting a trap for parents who were victims of domestic violence. The scenario: a mother reports abuse for the sake of her family’s safety; in turn, rather than assisting with supportive services, DCFS makes a finding of neglect by the mother.

Under a vague environment injurious clause, DCFS similarly found thousands of domestic violence victims were accountable for neglect of their children. Fortunately, there was someone fighting for their rights: The Family Defense Center, one of the many great organizations you are supporting through the Investing in Justice Campaign.

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May 27, 2015

Morsch Award Will Continue to Recognize Extraordinary Public Interest Attorneys

Chicago’s legal aid community received some great news when Tom Morsch and his family recently committed to continue their generous endowment of the prestigious Thomas H. Morsch Public Service Award for an additional five years.

Tom deservedly has received a lot of recognition over the years for his tireless pro bono efforts and exemplary leadership in the legal community on access to justice issues. As a longtime partner at Sidley Austin and pro bono leader within the firm, Tom was one of the earliest advocates for getting private law firms to commit to pro bono service. Yet Tom always felt that the private bar received a disproportionate amount of recognition for their pro bono contributions in comparison to the lawyers who had dedicated their careers to public interest law at great financial sacrifice.

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May 21, 2015

Investing in Justice Campaign Sets New Records

Many thousands of people in the Chicago area will receive much-needed legal help thanks to the record-breaking success of this year’s Investing in Justice Campaign.

A new record of 147 law firms, corporate legal departments and other law-related organizations participated in this year’s Campaign, which was chaired by Brett Hart, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at United, Inc. More than 4,700 individual attorneys and legal professionals contributed more than $1.45 million, both of which also are new records for the Campaign.

The thousands of individual contributions to the Campaign leverage hundreds of thousands in additional funding for this work as well. This year’s Campaign will yield more than $2 million in grants to 34 pro bono and legal aid organizations thanks to a number of generous matching contributions from participating firms and companies and additional foundation and government funding the CBF is able to leverage through the Campaign grants process.

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May 20, 2015

Meet Catherine Sanders Reach, CBA Director of Law Practice Management & Technology

Catherine Sanders Reach wants attorneys to know that no matter how proficient they are with today’s technology, there is always more to learn. Technology makes our work easier, more efficient, more productive and, often, more fun.

Director of Law Practice Management & Technology for the Chicago Bar Association, Catherine’s words of wisdom come from experience. Her first job out of the University of Alabama with her master’s of library and information studies in hand, was as a law firm librarian. The late €˜90’s were a heady time for her profession as information moved from print to digital…

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May 20, 2015

GAL for Minors Impact of Court Involvement on Children and Families

Learn more about the impact of court involvement on children and families at the upcoming Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) program on Wednesday, June 10 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. (online or at CVLS offices on 33 N. Dearborn). Presenters will include masters and doctoral students from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Sign up or learn more…

Attorneys who leave the program inspired to take action can participate in CVLS’s pro bono program for Guardian Ad Litem for Minors in probate court.

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May 19, 2015

MacArthur Foundation Grant Recognizes Great Potential of Justice Entrepreneurs Project

CBF Report April/May 2015

New grant will support innovative solutions for making essential legal help more affordable and accessible 

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently awarded the CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) a two-year, $400,000 grant. The JEP is an incubator for newer lawyers to start innovative, socially conscious law practices in the Chicago area that provide affordable services to low and moderate income people, a vastly underserved client base. JEP lawyers build sustainable and flexible practices by leveraging technology, offering fixed fees and a la carte services, and maximizing collaboration with clients.

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May 15, 2015

Take Action: Increase Access to Justice for Veterans

HB 3933 is a technical amendment to the 2013 Access to Justice Act, which passed and was signed into law with broad bipartisan support. The Access to Justice Act created a pilot program to develop and support a much-needed hotline and network of legal assistance to help thousands of Veterans and military families in need […]

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May 6, 2015

2nd Annual Passport to Chicago a Big Success

On Friday, May 1, more than 175 guests attended the CBF’s 2nd Annual Passport to Chicago at Kendall College, a culinary tour of various neighborhoods of the Windy City with dishes presented by members of the Kendall College Competition Club. The creations were paired with an appealing selection of regional beer and wine supplied by Midwest Wine Selections.

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May 6, 2015

jep logoJEP Featured at ABA National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services

Terri Mascherin of Jenner & Block LLP and chair of the Justice Entrepreneurs Project steering committee, gave a featured presentation about the JEP at the ABA National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services.

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