Our Blog


September 18, 2018

Municipal Court Advice Desk Prepares and Empowers

Evictions. Contract disputes. Auto accidents. Debt collection. While some of these cases may seem small from the outside, they can be very high stakes for a low-income person going to court without an attorney to defend their housing, their financial security, or their business interests. These are the types of cases heard in the First […]

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September 14, 2018

Local Challenges, State and National Solutions

Many of the access to justice issues we face in the Chicago area require action on the state or federal level to resolve. Working with many dedicated partners on the local, state and national levels, the CBF’s advocacy and community leadership extends well beyond the borders of Cook County, along with its impact.

A good example […]

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September 13, 2018

Helping Ensure It’s Substance Over Form in the Courts

Forms go along with the court process like peanut butter goes with jelly. And when it comes to access to justice, well-designed court forms can be a welcoming and helpful resource for people without lawyers, or forms can be a huge barrier when they are complicated and full of legalese.

Prior to 2012, people in Illinois […]

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September 11, 2018

How a Gift to the CBF Becomes a Grant with Exponential Impact

Grants to support pro bono and legal aid organizations have been a central part of the CBF’s work since its inception. Last year, the CBF awarded over $2 million in grants, investing in the entire pro bono and legal aid system in our community.  A lot goes into determining how the CBF allocates these grant […]

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September 7, 2018

A Life Changer for Children and Their Caregivers

Tuesday was the first day of school for thousands of Chicago Public School students. Imagine that you are caring for your grandchild because the child’s parents are not able to do so. You try to enroll your grandchild in school but the school refuses until you provide proof of guardianship. What is that? Where and […]

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September 5, 2018

Investing in Justice: More Than a Catchy Tagline

Chicago is fortunate to have more than 30 impressive pro bono and legal aid organizations that collectively provide often critical legal services to more than 150,000 people in need in our community each year. The CBF has supported many of these organizations from the time of their inception, and virtually all of them for many […]

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August 31, 2018

Justice for Youth Campaign Called Attention to a Budding Crisis

Back in the early 1990’s, the juvenile court and juvenile welfare systems were fighting an increasingly losing battle to protect and care for thousands of abused, neglected or troubled children in Cook County and elsewhere in Illinois. The CBF saw this budding crisis as an opportunity and, in partnership with The Chicago Bar Association, launched […]

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August 30, 2018

Expanding Practices and Access through Limited Scope

Across the country, the civil justice system is undergoing a transformation. More and more litigants are appearing in court without lawyers, making up well over half of the civil litigants in Illinois and closer to 75% nationally. Self-representation is no longer limited to the poorest users of the court system; growing numbers of middle-class people […]

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August 28, 2018

If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You Might Not Get There

That was one of the legendary Yogi Berra’s many great quotes, and it has particular resonance in the nonprofit arena. For organizations seeking to make a difference in the world, having a clear idea of who you are, what you are trying to accomplish, and how you will know if you are making progress is […]

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August 24, 2018

A Gift Becomes a Legacy

2018 CBF Moses Scholarship recipient Angela Kilgore

Throughout our 70-year history, the CBF has been fortunate to receive a number of planned gifts from generous members of the legal community. A good example was a gift Eleanor Moses made to the CBF in 1975 in memory of her husband and in honor of her son, […]

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