Investing in Justice Campaign Sets New Records, Makes More Than $2 Million in Grants and Support Possible

May 23, 2018

Tens of thousands of people in need will receive critical legal assistance thanks to more than 5,200 individual contributors at 153 participating firms, companies and organizations

The Chicago Bar Foundation is pleased to announce that more than 5,200 individuals contributed $1.55 million—both records—for the organization’s 2018 Investing in Justice Campaign. In the effort to raise awareness and much-needed funding for pro bono and legal aid services in the Chicago area, 153 law firms, corporate legal departments and other law-related organizations participated in this year’s Campaign. Chaired by Rebecca Eisner, the partner-in-charge of the Chicago office of Mayer Brown, the Investing in Justice Campaign each year engages thousands of individuals throughout Chicago’s legal community to come together and contribute generously to help ensure that everyone has access to necessary legal help.

“It is inspiring to see our legal community collaborate to take meaningful action to advance the cause of justice in Chicago,” said Eisner. “There are thousands of worthy causes to support in this city. But as members of the legal community, we can make a profound impact on this one. The Investing in Justice Campaign is a vital investment for Chicago’s most vulnerable residents, and I am proud that we have once again collectively stepped up for this great tradition.”

This year’s Campaign will make possible the allocation of nearly $2.3 million in grants and support for the work of more than 30 pro bono and legal aid organizations and related initiatives. Thanks to a number of generous matching contributions from participating firms and companies, the CBF is able to dedicate 100% of individual contributions to the Campaign towards this support and to leverage nearly $700,000 in additional funding from CBF foundation and government partners.

Since its inception in 2007, the Campaign has more than doubled both in the number of donors and the amounts contributed. It is the largest campaign of its kind anywhere in the country, and has raised more than $16 million to date while leveraging millions more in support for the pro bono and legal aid organizations serving the Chicago area.

The Campaign funds a continuum of legal services for low and middle-income people in need, ranging from web-based resources, help desks, and legal aid hotlines to market-based solutions, extended legal representation, and large-scale impact litigation and advocacy.

With more than half of low-income and disadvantaged people in the Chicago area unable to get often crucial legal help due to a shortage of legal aid resources, and many more moderate income people lacking affordable help, the Campaign plays a key role in helping to meet that need. The tens of thousands of people receiving services made possible by the Campaign are the elderly, disabled individuals, veterans, children, domestic violence victims, people at risk of losing their homes, immigrants fleeing persecution and abuse, and many other people in need.

More information about the Campaign and its impact is available at chicagobarfoundation.org/campaign.

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