News Tag: Advocacy


November 22, 2019

Build It and They Might Not Come

Since the days of yore, our courts and larger legal system
have centered around a “build it and they will come” model that requires people
to come to us on our terms. If you have a dispute, come downtown to the courthouse
and they’ll take care of it. And if you have a legal problem, come see one of
the many good lawyers out there and you’ll be all set.

This model worked pretty well for literally centuries, and the more centralized system of justice still has an important place in our modern world. But the growing reality today is that most people the system is designed to serve don’t know about, don’t trust, or do not feel connected to our traditional justice system. Finding better ways to connect people in their own communities with legal help and access to the legal process is an increasingly critical part of ensuring equal access to justice going forward.

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May 22, 2019

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps

Each spring, the CBF chooses two days to invite our dedicated volunteers to go to Springfield to join in the CBF’s advocacy work. This year, on April 30th and May 1st, members of the CBF Advocacy Committee and Young Professionals Board traveled down to advocate for access to justice initiatives and learn more about how […]

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April 25, 2019

Cherry Blossoms and Access to Justice: Your Foundation in D.C.

The CBF was proud to once again join the Illinois State Bar Association in leading a group of dedicated volunteers from Illinois who traveled to Washington D.C. to take part in the American Bar Association’s annual ABA Day in Washington.

Each year, Congress considers legislation and budget issues
that impact access to justice, the court system, and the legal profession.
That’s why it is vital that leaders in our legal community in Chicago, and across Illinois, engage with our members of Congress on important issues impacting access to justice for Illinois residents.

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February 1, 2019

A Heartfelt Thanks to Lisa Madigan and Her Team at the Office of the Attorney General

Public officials at all levels of government play a critical role in the fight to ensure access to justice for all, and we have been fortunate in Illinois to have a number of exemplary elected officials from both sides of the aisle as partners.

Some officials really stand out for their leadership in the cause, […]

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January 14, 2019

Justice for All and the Critical Role of Advocacy

Over the CBF’s first 70 years, advocacy at the federal, state and local levels has been a central part of our overall efforts to improve access to justice and make the legal system more fair and accessible for all. It has been quite a ride and has made a real difference, growing each year and with each new challenge.

So, what’s next, and why is it going to be even more important going forward?

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December 18, 2018

The Battle Over Cy Pres Awards

In settling class actions, there is a recurring practical problem: what to do with undistributed settlement funds? That question has now reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and was the topic of a spirited panel discussion last month hosted by the CBA Class Action Committee and the CBF: The Future of Cy Pres After the Supreme Court: Perspectives from Academia, the Bar, and the Bench.

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December 13, 2018

Educational Debt and Access to Justice: An Increasingly Toxic Brew

We occasionally get the question: why do you work on student debt reform isn’t the CBF’s advocacy focused on improving access to the justice system? In fact, mounting student loan debt in the United States is directly related to access to justice, and addressing it is a key strategy in leveling the playing field in […]

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December 7, 2018

The Price of Admission to the Courts: Tackling a Barrier to Access to Justice

The events in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 and their aftermath shined a national spotlight on an access to justice issue that too often was previously below the radar: the undue burden that court fees and fines can present for low-income and disadvantaged members of the community.

Illinois already was ahead of the game in recognizing these […]

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November 12, 2018

We Felt Like We Were Drowning in a Sea of Goodwill

As recently as just a few years ago, that was a common refrain heard among Illinois veterans facing legal issues. While our veterans and military personnel generally knew there were a lot of lawyers and others who wanted to help them, there was no easy way to make those connections.

At the same time, there was […]

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October 9, 2018

The Illinois State Government’s Conduit for Access to Justice

Equal justice is a basic right that is fundamental to democracy in this State, and the integrity of this State and this State’s justice system depends on protecting and enforcing the rights of all people.

That is the opening paragraph for the Illinois Equal Justice Act, which the Illinois General Assembly passed in 1999 with broad […]

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