Lawyer & Legal Professional Resources


Pro bono attorneys play a critical role in making the justice system more fair and accessible for everyone. Learn more about how you can use your legal skills to help people in need, and how your support for the CBF is improving the overall pro bono system and expanding pro bono services in our community.


Limited scope representation, also called unbundling or a la carte legal services, is designed to give lawyers and their clients more flexibility. In a limited scope representation, the lawyer takes on some part of a case while the litigant handles the rest, allowing the lawyers to focus their expertise on discrete issues and tasks. The Limited Scope Representation Toolkit is to assist attorneys who are licensed in Illinois and seeking to offer limited scope representation as one of their service offerings to potential clients who have civil matters in Illinois trial court.


The billable hour is a barrier to accessing affordable legal services because it lacks transparency and predictability. The average legal consumer is on a budget and needs to understand what solution to their legal problem they can afford. The billable hour does not allow the consumer to make this determination. This version of the Pricing Toolkit is a collaboration between The Chicago Bar Foundation and A Different Practice (ADP). Helping lawyers learn how to price based on value instead of time is a core strategy for both the CBF and ADP to increase access to justice and promote a healthier, more sustainable practice of law.


Cy pres awards are residual funds in class action cases (and occasionally in other types of proceedings like bankruptcy and probate matters) that, for any number of reasons, are unclaimed or cannot be distributed to the class members or beneficiaries who were the intended recipients. Under the cy pres doctrine and Illinois law, courts can distribute these residual funds to appropriate charitable causes. The CBF’s mission of improving access to justice for those less fortunate makes it an ideal match for class action cy pres awards, as one underlying premise for all class actions is to make access to justice a reality for people who otherwise would not be able to obtain the protections of the court system. Cy pres awards have made possible several successful projects and initiatives over the past several years and enable the CBF to provide ongoing support for these efforts.