News Tag: Advocacy

April 25, 2016

Advocate for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program provides a critical tool for public interest minded lawyers to pursue careers in public service and government. Under PSLF, those who make ten years of payments on their student loans while employed full-time in public service jobs are eligible to have their remaining balance forgiven.

In recent budget proposals, President Obama has proposed capping the amount of loans that can be forgiven, and some in Congress have proposed cutting the program entirely.

TAKE ACTION: Contact Senators Durbin and Kirk, the President, and your Congressperson and let them know why PSLF is important to you, the legal profession, and the low-income clients served by public interest lawyers thanks to this much-needed assistance.

Find Your Legislator

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March 23, 2016

Thanking Congress Members for LSC Support

Congress has started considering the FY17 budget, including funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Join us in thanking President Obama, Senators Durbin and Kirk, and your member of Congress for their past support of LSC funding, and please urge their continued support. A special thanks to Congressman Bob Dold for his work this year leading the bipartisan efforts to encourage his colleagues in the House to support LSC funding.

Find and Contact your Legislators

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February 19, 2016

Lobbying and Touring at the State Capital

The CBA Young Lawyers Section and CBF are set to explore Springfield, Illinois on Tuesday, April 5 to Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

There will be opportunities to learn more about Illinois’ legislative process and how to lobby, as well as to meet with legislators and make new connections. Highlights include tours of the Capitol Building and Illinois Supreme Court; viewing of the General Assembly and Committees; and free time to explore Springfield (including the Lincoln Museum).

Law students and attorneys of all experience levels are welcome! Learn more and register.

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January 19, 2016

Federal Budget Update: Modest Increases for Legal Aid and Court Funding

As Congress concluded the 2016 budget process in December, there was some modestly good news for access to justice. Thank you to everyone who contacted Senators Durbin and Kirk and your Representative about funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) as the budget process was playing out. With important leadership from the Illinois delegation, LSC received a modest $10 million increase for 2016.

While there is much more work to be done for LSC funding to get to an appropriate level, this was a step in the right direction in the still challenging budget environment in Washington. The federal courts also received a modest funding increase that was largely in line with the Judiciary’s request for this year.

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January 13, 2016

Take Action: Learn How the Sausage Gets Made

The always entertaining and insightful Larry Suffredin, CBA Legislative Counsel and Cook County Board Commissioner, will give an overview of the Springfield legislative process and current climate on January 25th from 12 pm to 2pm at the CBA, Register for “Making Sausage and Legislation” here.

After hearing about the ins and outs of Springfield, be sure to save the date for the YLS/CBF Springfield Trip on April 5th and 6th, where you can see firsthand the process at work. More details to come!

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December 11, 2015

Take Action: Thank Your County Commissioner

Join us in thanking the Cook County Board of Commissioners for their unanimous vote to support funding for the Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program for another year. Personalized phone calls and emails can go a long way.

Find Your County Commissioner

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December 3, 2015

Justice as a Discretionary Expense—Where Did We Lose Our Way and How Can We Find Our Way Back?

Somewhere along the way from the time of our nation’s founding to today, the principle of justice for all went from being fundamental to who we are as Americans to something that is largely treated as a discretionary budget item at all levels of government. As a result, our nation’s promise of “justice for all” increasingly looks like an empty one to most Americans–and we all are losing something vital to our national identity in the process.

How did we lose our way on something so integral to who we are as Americans? And more importantly, how do we get ourselves back on track? While I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I do know this: it won’t just happen by itself. All of us in the legal community, both individually and collectively, need to use our influence by taking the lead in making this case to our elected officials and to the public.

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November 18, 2015

Take Action: Voice Your Support for Increased LSC Funding

With a recent agreement on the overall federal budget now signed into law, Congress will be finalizing details of next year’s budget over the next several weeks, including funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Please thank President Obama, Senators Durbin and Kirk, and your member of Congress for their support of LSC funding and […]

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October 22, 2015

Learn the Ropes at a CBF Advocacy Workshop

Interested in finding out how you can get involved in access to justice advocacy this year? On Tuesday, November 10th, the CBF is hosting an Advocacy Workshop at Winston & Strawn. The workshop will be from 8 am to 9:15 am, and it will feature insightful commentary from CBA Legislative Counsel and County Commission Larry Suffredin. […]

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September 21, 2015

Justice for All: A Fundamental Responsibility of Our Government and Our Legal Community’s Responsibility to Hold Them to It

CBF Report September 2015

“Liberty and justice for all is one of America’s most cherished principles, and a fundamental part of the very fabric of our nation. Our founding fathers fought a revolution for it. Thousands of brave men and women since then–from Abraham Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony to Martin Luther King and all who fought with them–risked their lives to ensure that the principle of justice for all truly applied to all Americans.

Justice for all knows no political exclusivity. It is not a Democratic or Republican value, but an American value. At the opening of each and every session of this Senate, we stand together and pledge our allegiance to this founding principle. Millions of schoolchildren pledge their allegiance every day to this fundamental tenet of our country.

Yet today in Illinois and throughout the United States, we are falling far short of fulfilling our nation’s promise of ‘justice for all.'”

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