News Tag: Investing in Justice Campaign

August 17, 2016

your campaign in action iconIllinois’ Legal Aid Tech Hub Gets a New Platform

Back in 1999, when planning for the project that would become today’s Illinois Legal Aid Online first began, the state of technology was quite a bit different than today. Computers were just starting to become common on lawyers’ desks, and large numbers of people did not have access to computers in their homes. Smart phones, Facebook and Twitter weren’t on anyone’s radar yet and would not come on to the scene for several more years.

Even so, there were a few visionaries back then who believed that we could do a much better job of delivering legal information and resources to pro bono and legal aid lawyers and to the public by harnessing the power of the internet. After a lot of planning and often spirited discussions, that vision became a reality in 2001 when Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), one of the many outstanding organizations you are supporting through the Investing in Justice Campaign, officially was formed. Along with Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, the CBF provided the necessary seed funding and was one of the founding partners of ILAO, which initially was called the Illinois Technology Center for Law and the Public Interest.

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July 20, 2016

your campaign in action iconLet’s Take It Outside: Resolving Conflict Outside of the Courtroom

It’s hard to come to a mutual agreement when you’re fighting about an emotionally charged topic. Especially if that topic is child custody with a former spouse.

Mike and Kelly created a parenting schedule when they first got divorced, but that plan began to erode over time, as did their communication. Kelly prohibited Mike from seeing their daughters on school nights because he didn’t make the girls do their homework when he was with them. Wanting to explore his options, Mike opened a case for mediation with the Center for Conflict Resolution.

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June 22, 2016

your campaign in action iconRestoring Justice for the Abused

The world was quick to turn against a Hollywood actress when she spoke out about allegations of domestic violence. Why? Because the alleged abuser is one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors.

The public was quick to point out, But she was recently pictured smiling! Loved ones rushed to his defense, including his ex-wife, In all the years I have known him, he has never been physically abusive with me.

The incident has given advocates a platform to address the biggest misconceptions surrounding domestic violence, including the fact that an abuser does not always have a history of abuse in past relationships.

One of the biggest misconceptions that Denice Markham Wolf, executive director at Life Span, wants to clear up is that domestic violence is not about hitting. Domestic violence, she explains, is about one person having total power and control over the victim, degrading them, and isolating them from family and friends.

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June 1, 2016

bob glaves and susan levyInvesting in Justice Campaign Breaks Records in Milestone Year

The 2016 CBF Investing in Justice Campaign marked its 10th anniversary by setting new records across the board while raising awareness and critical funding for pro bono and legal aid services in the Chicago area. A new record of 154 law firms, corporate legal departments and other law-related organizations participated in this year’s Campaign, which was chaired by Susan Levy, executive vice president and general counsel at Northern Trust. More than 5,000 individual attorneys and legal professionals contributed more than $1.5 million, both of which are the highest amounts in the Campaign’s 10-year history.

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May 17, 2016

your campaign in action iconA Lawyer and a Priest’s Vision for Justice

After graduating from DePaul’s law school together in the early 1980’s, Ed Grossman and Bishop Thomas Paprocki (then a full-time parish priest) embarked on a mission to provide accessible and affordable legal services to the South Chicago community, which was suffering amidst the decline of the steel industry that had been the community’s economic anchor for decades.

The classmates adopted a sliding scale model for their organization so that they could provide services both for people who could afford to pay something and for those who couldn’t afford to pay anything.

At the time, Ed was a 24-year-old fresh-faced attorney and aspired to serve 300 people a year. Flash forward 35 years, and the organization, now known as the Chicago Legal Clinic (CLC), has some years served upwards of 40,000 people a year across dozens of Chicago communities.

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April 19, 2016

your campaign in action iconReaching Beyond the Matter at Hand

Mary Ann Blakemore’s home was firebombed by her daughter’s boyfriend in a brutal attack that not only destroyed the elderly woman’s public housing apartment and nearly all her possessions, but left her hospitalized with third-degree burns. Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) officials so dragged their feet in securing her a new apartment, that Mary Ann had no home once she was finally released from the rehabilitation center many months later. Fortunately, Mary Ann sought help from a fierce advocate the dedicated attorneys in LAF’s Housing Unit.

In March, nearly a year later, the case settled with Blakemore receiving a new apartment and financial aid to help replace her belongings. Moreover, HACC agreed to retrain its employees on fair housing law, including protections for domestic violence victims and residents with disabilities.

The legal victory is one of several that have made headlines recently for effecting both significant individual impact and a lasting impact on housing law in Chicago.

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March 15, 2016

bob glaves and susan levyThe Investing in Justice Campaign: 10 Years of Influence and Impact

When the Investing in Justice Campaign launched in 2007, it raised more than $600,000 from about 1,600 individuals at 35 participating law firms and companies within just a few weeks for the cause of access to justice. Skeptics pegged this strong response as a one-year wonder; the following year, the economic crisis of 2008 further threatened the Campaign’s potential.

But the Campaign’s numbers grew even during that time.

Amidst the economic upheavals Chicago has seen in the last decade, the growth of the Investing in Justice Campaign is proof that we still believe in justice for all through thick and through thin.

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March 8, 2016

Chicago’s Legal Community Joins Together As One to Advance Justice for All

Since 2007, Chicago’s legal community has come together every March to raise awareness and critical funding for local pro bono and legal aid organizations through The Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) Investing in Justice Campaign. Over the course of that time, the Campaign has grown from 35 participating firms and companies to more than 150. The roster of participants is a who’s who of law firms, corporate legal departments, and other legal community partners, and today it is the largest campaign of its kind anywhere in the country.

Chaired this year by Susan Levy, executive vice president and general counsel at Northern Trust, the Campaign officially kicked off with an evening reception for Campaign leaders at Northern Trust’s Chicago office on March 7th. The Campaign runs throughout the month of March.

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February 29, 2016

your campaign in action iconCARPLS Legal Aid’s Emergency Room

The phone rings. I answer to a woman frantically telling me that DCFS still hasn’t released her daughter to her care. Her daughter was taken from her pending an investigation of neglected supervision. I have to interrupt her in the midst of her plea to tell her that we do not provide direct legal services at the CBF.

The scenario plays out several times a day. Someone’s fighting an eviction, another is fighting for their child. One person is looking to turn their life around by expunging a record. They can’t afford a lawyer, but they’re clearly in need of legal help. I can’t personally help them, but I give them the legal version of 911. I refer them to CARPLS, Cook County’s free legal aid hotline and one of the many outstanding organizations you are supporting through the Investing in Justice Campaign.

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January 26, 2016

your campaign in action iconCAASE Flips the Script on Sexual Exploitation

As a teenager, Joel ran away from a small, rural town in Michigan and eventually made his way to Chicago. At 21, he was addicted to crack cocaine and heroin. Fifty-seven arrests and six prostitution-related convictions later, Joel found himself off the streets and in prison.

It was difficult to see Joel as a victim at this point, but there was another side to his story. And legal aid would play a critical role in writing a new chapter.

Joel’s mom was murdered when he was three. He was sent to live with his mom’s family in Michigan, where he faced regular physical and sexual abuse. Growing up gay in an unwelcoming community only brought further abuse. He ran away from home as a teenager, ending up in Chicago in search of acceptance. Instead, he was introduced to crack cocaine and heroin by a pimp as a means to lead him into sex trafficking, and he suffered even more unimaginable abuse.

Somehow, during his time in prison, Joel found the strength and resilience to turn his life around against all the odds life had stacked against him. He got a GED degree, went to college, and worked his way up to a doctoral degree. But then, when he applied to get his professional license to take the next steps in his amazing revival, he ran into a legal brick wall due to his past contacts with the criminal justice system.

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