Our Blog


April 20, 2015

your campaign in action iconWhen Every Case is an Emergency

Startling statistics have made their way to headlines and stirred a national conversation on the topic of domestic violence, and they indicate that abusive partners don’t discriminate. A woman is beaten every nine seconds in the U.S. Men and transgender individuals often are victims as well. Locally, the Chicago Police Department handled 80,935 domestic-related calls […]

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April 1, 2015

Spaces: Justice Entrepreneurs Project

Serious Work, Relaxed Environment

Chicago Lawyer
By Dustin J. Seibert

The loft-style office of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project looks less like a conventional law firm and more like a small tech startup.

The main area consists of rows of desks separated only by frosted partitions with phone and laptop chargers jutting through them from the floor.

Mailboxes consist of individually labeled Tupperware containers stacked on a cart in the corner of a collaborative space.

There’s one conference room, one copy machine, a stripped-down kitchen space and the basic understanding that employees clean up after themselves.

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March 26, 2015

Access to Justice Goes to Springfield

Would you like to learn more about Illinois’ legislative process and gain some hands-on lobbying experience? On April 28 and 29, the CBF will head down to Springfield to talk with legislators about our priority state issues. Contact Jessica Bednarz, CBF Program Manager, at jbednarz@chicagobar.org or (312) 554-4952 if you are interested in joining us.

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March 24, 2015

Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation

You can provide quality legal counsel to survivors of sexual assault and ensure that survivors are not further victimized when they attempt to engage in the criminal justice system’s efforts against rapists. Join CAASE for a training on Monday, March 30th from 12:00 to 2:00 to learn about providing legal representation and advocacy to survivors of sexual assault. Learn more or email Rachel Johnson to register for the training, or find out about other volunteer opportunities at CAASE.

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March 24, 2015

Meet Lee Robbins, the Newest CBF Equal Justice Works Fellow

It’s easy to mark the troublesome students in class as, well, troublesome and punish them as such.

Johnny, for example, is always talking in class. He talks over the teacher, he interrupts the students. His behavior is disruptive, so the easy solution is to throw him out of the classroom, right?

But what if Johnny has undetected autism? Or what if Amanda, who often skips class, is struggling with anxiety due to trauma at home?

As a high school special education teacher, Lee Robbins saw how such students were not receiving the academic and behavioral supports they needed, and as a consequence, they often fell victim to school discipline and even academic failure (students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to receive an out-of school suspension!). She went to law school with the mission of securing educational rights for students with disabilities, and is currently making a splash at Equip for Equality as a CBF-sponsored Equal Justice Works Fellow.

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March 24, 2015

your campaign in action iconGiving Students the Chance to Thrive

Jason, a nine-year-old boy diagnosed with autism, ADHD and significant emotional disabilities, was getting suspended nearly every day and was steps away from expulsion. School discipline reports described him as violent, noncompliant and unwilling to be helped. The boy that Equip for Equality (EFE) attorney Lee Robbins met, however, was kind, introduced her to his entire family, and showed her the treasures he was carrying around in his toy tool belt.

After negotiating with the school district, Lee assisted Jason’s family in placing him in a different school that provided him with an individualized Behavior Intervention Plan that addresses his social-emotional and behavioral concerns. The school welcomed him and developed a tailored behavior incentives program used at home and in school, complete with behavior reminder badges that he could wear.

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March 20, 2015

Take Action: Strengthen Civics Education in Illinois

On February 27, Rep. Deborah Conroy introduced House Bill 4025 to strengthen civics education in Illinois and to promote greater civic learning through a required civics course for all Illinois high school students. This bill was based on the recommendations of the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education, which was established by the legislature to study the status of civic education in Illinois and make recommendations on how to improve it.

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March 18, 2015

Striking a Blow Against Inequality by Increasing Access to Justice

CBF Report February/March 2015

The 2015 Investing in Justice Campaign

As the 9th annual CBF Investing in Justice Campaign kicks off this month and election seasons are heating up, seemingly everyone is talking about the problem of rising inequality in our society. While there are a variety of viewpoints on the causes and solutions for this problem, one thing we in the legal community all can agree upon is that it has no place in the justice system. That is a central theme for this year’s Campaign, which is being chaired by Brett Hart, Vice President and General Counsel at United Airlines, Inc.

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March 4, 2015

Solo practitioners cite benefits of legal incubators

San Diego Daily Transcript
By Lyle Moran

As the longtime owner of San Diego Music Studio, Robin Sassi says that being a small-business owner can be lonely and isolating.

So after Sassi graduated from California Western School of Law a few years ago, she hoped to work at a law firm where she would have colleagues with whom she could share the ups and downs of being a new lawyer.

But after months without finding a job, Sassi started doing legal work on her own.

It was during that time, in 2012, when she was approached about joining California Western’s planned Access to Law Initiative, an incubator providing space and training for new lawyers wanting to serve clients of modest means.

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February 27, 2015

your campaign in action iconA Place to Sleep Is Just the Start

Being a teenager already can be a struggle at times€¦but imagine being a homeless teenager. The constant worry of having to figure out where you’ll sleep that night is a fraction of your worries. Imagine struggling to stay in school because you’re doing homework on a couch in your friend’s noisy living room. Imagine breaking your leg but not having the legal identification records needed to get medical attention.

Homeless youth need someone to fight for their basic rights to overcome these challenges, and your support of the Investing in Justice Campaign is helping to make that possible.

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