Our Blog


October 5, 2020

jep logoJEP Applications are Open

The CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project is seeking entrepreneurial and social justice-minded applicants for its next class of participants who will begin the program in January 2021. 

The JEP prepares talented and entrepreneurial lawyers in the Chicago area to build innovative, socially conscious, and thriving law practices serving low and middle-income legal consumers and small businesses. We believe in the power […]

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October 1, 2020

Jessica BednarzJessica Bednarz Named to Law Bulletin’s 40 Under 40

Congratulations to Jessica Bednarz, CBF Director of Innovation & the JEP, on being named one of this year’s Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s 40 Under 40 recipients. Jess joins a very distinguished group of 2020 honorees, and we are incredibly proud of all the work she has done to improve access to justice in our community. […]

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September 24, 2020

A Fork in the Road for Our Profession

The 1980’s called and they want their Rules of Professional Conduct back. And they can have them.

As the world around us has changed dramatically since those heady days when seeing a music video on MTV was mind-blowing, we have seen only modest changes in the Rules governing the business of law. The result is our profession has gradually priced the everyday person out of the market for legal services even though we have more lawyers practicing than ever before.

Something is clearly wrong, and we now face a clear choice: continue down the same unsustainable path, or set a new course where we empower the middle class to access the quality, affordable legal services they need and enable lawyers to sustainably provide those services to them.

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September 24, 2020

sean berkowitzInvesting in Justice Through Thick and Thin

A message from Sean Berkowitz, 2020 Investing in Justice Campaign Chair

Thanks to your dedicated leadership, I am pleased to announce outstanding results for this year’s Investing in Justice Campaign despite the unprecedented circumstances we all find ourselves facing today. At a time when it is needed more than ever, more than 4,200 attorneys and legal […]

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September 17, 2020

jep participantJEP Helps Small Businesses Navigate the Pandemic

As small businesses wrestle with the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic, the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) hosted a free virtual workshop for the small businesses in the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce earlier this month. “Ask JEP: Navigating Legal Relationships in a Time of COVID” was designed to help these businesses understand and respond […]

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September 16, 2020

justicecorps using language lineNew Illinois JusticeCorps Court Information Helpline Launches

The Illinois JusticeCorps program is proud to announce the launch of its new Court Information Helpline – a phone resource created to aid people without lawyers trying to access the courts during the ongoing pandemic. The helpline now serves as one central location for unrepresented litigants to call for legal information and resource referrals for […]

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August 18, 2020

Lessons from Within

My New Year’s Resolution for our legal profession this year was to make law better by looking to what we can learn from other professions and industries, and as I explored further over the past few months, there is no shortage of material on that front.

As we look at ways we can better and more sustainably serve the public, there also are a number of lessons we can learn from the areas of the legal services market that are functioning reasonably well for lawyers and clients today.

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August 17, 2020

congressman schneider meetingTackling the Student Debt Crisis with a Comprehensive and Long-Term Solution

As the CBF continues to support efforts to protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and to enact meaningful COVID-19 student debt relief measures, we also have ramped up our advocacy for a more comprehensive solution to the student debt crisis.

In the last few months, we’ve been fortunate to work with an incredible team of pro bono attorneys—led by Erin Turley and Allison Wilkerson at McDermott Will & Emery and David Whaley at Thompson Hine LLP–who have done great work turning the CBF’s proposals and ideas into actual legislative language.

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August 14, 2020

illinois supreme courtSupreme Court Rule 139: New Eviction Rule Benefits Tenants, Landlords, and Courts

Imagine being asked to go to court to defend yourself, but without knowing exactly what you are defending yourself against. This situation was all too common for many tenants in Illinois until the recent adoption of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 139. Rule 139 now requires plaintiff landlords to attach a copy of the eviction termination notice and any relevant lease provisions…

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July 22, 2020

task force report cover pageCBA/CBF Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation Releases Report and Recommendations for Public Comment

The Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation officially released its report and recommendations for public comment today.

The problem the Task Force seeks to address in a nutshell is an untenable failure in the legal market: at the same time we have more lawyers practicing than ever before, more people than ever before are going without legal help. Dozens of lawyers and legal professionals from diverse backgrounds across the legal community in Illinois and beyond have worked diligently over the past nine months to tackle these issues and develop a comprehensive series of recommendations for regulatory reform.

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