News Tag: CBF 70th Anniversary


February 27, 2019

Leading the Way to a Justice System that Works for Everyone

Justice is a simple concept. Even very young children understand the basic concept of fairness. But getting to justice can be anything but simple. Ensuring that everyone has equal access to the justice system is a fight that happens on many fronts—from the courts to the pro bono and legal aid organizations, law firms and […]

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February 1, 2019

A Make or Break Issue for Access to Justice

Whether an issue is a challenge or an opportunity is often simply a matter of perception. As Winston Churchill once put it, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” Over the CBF’s first 70 years, we have taken pride in confronting challenges head on and converting them into opportunities, and that has led to a number of significant innovations and long-term improvements in access to justice.

But sometimes an issue really is both a challenge and an opportunity at the same time. There is one such issue for access to justice looking ahead, a central one where our legal community will need to lead the way in striking the right balance if we are to reach the ultimate goal of a legal system that is truly fair and accessible for all.

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January 17, 2019

Steeped in History But Forward-Looking: Making the Courts Work for Everyone

Courts are, by design, backward-looking institutions. Lawyers and judges rely on case law from bygone decades. Clerks hand out paper forms sprinkled with ancient Latin phrases. The black robes, the gavels, and the rituals are steeped in history and tradition.

By choice, however, courts can also be forward-looking institutions. A foundational role in American society does […]

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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 28, 2018

This is what the fight for access to justice looks like.

It’s the end of the year, and while that has always been a period for reflection, this time we’re not just thinking back over the last year but the last 70. Since June, we’ve been digging through old photos, articles, and reports and uncovering some very interesting tidbits along the way. (Did you know the […]

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December 26, 2018

Community Leadership in Times of Crisis

Over the course of our 70-year history, one of the CBF’s hallmarks has become community leadership in times of crisis and emerging issues for access to justice. The great recession of 2008, and the swelling numbers of homeowners facing foreclosure in the associated housing crisis, was a particularly important example.

Growing numbers of foreclosures had already […]

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December 21, 2018

Improving the Pro Bono Experience in Federal Court

Federal court may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of pro se litigants, but every year, hundreds of people without lawyers file cases in the Northern District of Illinois. The vast majority of those cases are filed by prisoners seeking relief from allegedly substandard conditions or poor treatment in […]

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December 20, 2018

Helping to Incubate Pro Bono and Legal Aid

As we celebrate the CBF’s 70th Anniversary, we have been looking back on many of the long-standing partnerships we have with pro bono and legal aid organizations in the Chicago area. Throughout our history, the CBF has played a critical role in many new organizations getting off the ground by providing inaugural grant funding, which […]

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December 14, 2018

CBF Staff Share a Common Passion for Justice

Over the course of 70 years, the CBF has gone through quite an evolution to become the organization it is today one focused on improving access to justice through grants, community leadership, and policy advocacy in the courts and legislative process. For nearly half of the CBF’s existence, there was no need for staff offices […]

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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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