Press Releases


February 26, 2015

MacArthur Foundation Grant Supports Innovative Solutions for Making Essential Legal Help More Affordable and Accessible

The Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) announced today a two-year, $400,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support the CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP).  The JEP is an incubator for recent law school graduates 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 are building practices that offer fixed fees and flexible representation options, maximize technology and attorney-client collaboration, and leverage existing but previously untapped referral networks…

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November 25, 2014

Helping Dedicated Advocates Serve Others

CBF Report November 2014

Helping Dedicated Advocates Serve Others

Ensuring equal access to justice in our community starts with dedicated advocates pursuing and remaining in careers in legal aid and public service. One of the CBF’s key priorities is to address the growing financial hurdles facing legal aid lawyers in our community, who are increasingly finding that a career in legal aid and public interest law is simply untenable from an economic standpoint. Lawyers graduating today typically have mortgage-sized law school debt while working for relatively modest salaries at pro bono and legal aid organizations. Thanks to a number of generous donors, the CBF has created several considerable fellowship and scholarship programs to help make it possible for committed attorneys to carry out this important work amidst what can be significant financial challenges and, in doing so, help ensure that the most vulnerable people in our community have access to the protections of our justice system.

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July 17, 2014

Pro Bono and Public Service Heroes Honored

Some of the most influential work done by Chicago’s legal community flies under the radar. The Chicago Bar Association and The Chicago Bar Foundation’s 16th Annual Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon on July 15, 2014 highlighted some of that important work, honoring seven truly exemplary lawyers in our community before more than 700 attendees at the Fairmont Hotel Chicago.

The award recipients represent a broad cross-section of Chicago’s legal community and share an unfaltering commitment to advancing justice and inspiring those around them to join the cause.

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November 15, 2013

CBF Unveils Innovative West Loop Incubator

Justice Entrepreneurs Project will help new lawyers launch practices serving low and moderate income clients

Chicago’s growing reputation as a hub for innovation once again was on display today as The Chicago Bar Foundation formally unveiled Chicago’s newest incubator in the West Loop, the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP). Through this CBF program, a group of talented and entrepreneurial new lawyers will have the opportunity to launch solo and small firm practices that provide affordable legal services to low and moderate income Chicagoans.

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October 11, 2013

More than 50 Legal Aid Advocates Get Complimentary, Top-Notch Trial Skills Training For Free Through Innovative Partnership

Dozens of legal aid advocates from throughout the Chicago area are participating in an acclaimed NITA (National Institute of Trial Advocacy) trial skills training this week thanks to an inventive partnership of NITA, The Chicago Bar Foundation, and the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

There are two components to the training. On Monday, sixteen experienced legal aid trial attorneys completed a two-day teacher training program where they learned the NITA methodology so that they ultimately will become NITA certified instructors. These attorneys then have been teaching alongside experienced NITA instructors during a three-day Advocacy Skills Program, where forty legal aid lawyers have the opportunity to hone their trial advocacy skills. Thanks to Skadden, these programs are taking place in state of the art facilities.

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