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February 15, 2021

2020 Selected Legal Aid Highlights

In January, the Chicago Bar Association Legal Aid Committee celebrated the impressive achievements of 25+ legal aid organizations here in the Chicagoland area in 2020. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, these dedicated institutions have demonstrated tremendous innovation and have continued to serve the legal needs of underrepresented communities.

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January 26, 2021

Cy Pres Awards Continue to Advance Access to Justice Through the CBF

Cy pres awards have played a big part in the CBF’s growth and impact over the years, and this past year was no exception. These awards come from residual funds in class action cases (and sometimes other types of proceedings) that, for any number of reasons, are unclaimed or cannot be distributed to the class […]

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January 25, 2021

student debt proposal overviewSustainable Solutions to the Student Debt Crisis

Amidst the welcome national attention and commitments in the new Administration and Congress to tackle the student debt crisis, the CBF held a briefing this month to discuss long-term and sustainable solutions to this overarching problem.

As recent law graduates are fully aware, lawyers often leave school with significant amounts of debt. For those choosing higher-paying […]

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January 23, 2021

screenshot of 16th jep cohort bootcampSixteenth JEP Cohort Kicks Off 18-Month Program

On January 11, the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project welcomed its sixteenth cohort into the program. Similar to our last cohort, these four attorneys—Daniel Bruce, Amy Cook, Terra Gross, and India Rios—are eager to take on the immense challenges and need created by COVID-19 by starting innovative, socially conscious practices helping everyday people and small businesses. The new JEPers join over 60 attorneys currently in the JEP Network.

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January 21, 2021

covid bots imageNew Chatbot Offers 24/7 Information and Referrals for Pandemic Related Legal Issues

COVID Housing and Economic Loss Prevention (COVID HELP) is a new online navigation tool designed to guide Illinois residents to up-to-date information and referrals for common COVID-related legal issues including housing, debt, unemployment, bankruptcy, and guardianship issues. Through the website, users can connect 24/7 with a team of chatbots designed and created by legal aid experts to provide answers to common questions and automated referrals for more complex legal issues.

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January 20, 2021

hiring post graphicThe CBF is Hiring a New Associate Director for Grants & COO

After 16 years of exemplary leadership and great work for the CBF, Dina Merrell will be leaving Chicago and leaving the CBF for new horizons.

We will have more to say about this bittersweet news and the tremendous impact Dina has made during her tenure soon, but we are now in the market for a new […]

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January 19, 2021

A Wellness Action Plan to (Re)Start 2021

When I thought about where to start my 2021 Resolution for the Legal Profession series, I quickly settled on wellness, because starting the year off on the right foot is so important to the success of the rest. Further, the tumultuous start to 2021 has only underscored that this is the right topic to begin with.

Because I am hardly an authority in this area and have a solid track record of not setting a great example, I brought in the real expert I quoted in the Resolution, Erin Clifford, who was kind enough to agree to share some of her wisdom here:

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December 21, 2020

2021 Resolution: Don’t Let the Hard-Earned Lessons of 2020 Go to Waste

If you can’t wait to put 2020 behind you and would like to send it off with an emphatic middle-finger salute, you’ve got a friend here. But for those of us who are lucky enough to have made it through this bizarro year in one piece, there is much we can and should take with us that will make the world better in 2021 and well into the future.

That’s why my 5th Annual New Year’s Resolution for the Legal Profession is to take stock of what 2020 has taught us to make for a better profession and a better system of justice going forward. And we’ve got a lot of material to work with on this front.

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December 18, 2020

Upcoming CBF Student Debt Briefing

Want to learn more about the student debt crisis and the CBF’s comprehensive proposal to tackle it as momentum grows for action at the federal level? Join us on Wednesday, January 13th at 2 p.m. to hear from the stellar pro bono drafting team about the tenets of the CBF’s proposed reforms, how the CBF package compares to other proposals, […]

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November 24, 2020

cclahd logoCBF Joins Cook County, Circuit Court, and Other Partners to Launch Groundbreaking Program for Eviction and Consumer Debt Cases

A new Early Resolution Program (ERP) that will provide legal help for thousands of people in Cook County facing eviction and consumer debt issues was officially launched yesterday at a press conference hosted by the County.

The program is part of a broader new initiative for housing and debt issues, Cook County Legal Aid for Housing […]

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