News Tag: Legal Aid Funding


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 30, 2019

Investing in Justice Campaign Sets New Record, Leverages Hundreds of Thousands More

Tens of thousands of people in need will receive critical legal assistance thanks to more than 5,200 individual contributors at 150 participating firms, companies and organizations

The Chicago Bar Foundation is proud to announce record-breaking results for the 2019 Investing in Justice Campaign. More than 5,200 individuals joined together to contribute $1.56 million, the highest amount […]

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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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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 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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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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September 21, 2018

A Match Made in Justice: Cy Pres Awards and Legal Aid

In class action cases (and occasionally in other types of proceedings like bankruptcy and probate matters), it is fairly common that some of the funds ordered to be paid to the class cannot be distributed to all of the class members or go unclaimed. What to do then?

Over the years, cy pres or residual fund […]

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September 20, 2018

Legal Aid Yields a Strong Return on Investment

A well-funded legal aid system helps to ensure that our justice system is fair and efficient for all, regardless of income. Like us, you’re probably thinking that’s all the reason anyone would need. But then there’s the icing on the cake. Studies from more than 25 states, including Illinois, have repeatedly shown that it is […]

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September 11, 2018

How a Gift to the CBF Becomes a Grant with Exponential Impact

Grants to support pro bono and legal aid organizations have been a central part of the CBF’s work since its inception. Last year, the CBF awarded over $2 million in grants, investing in the entire pro bono and legal aid system in our community.  A lot goes into determining how the CBF allocates these grant […]

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August 10, 2018

CBF Grants: A Legacy of Impact

In the 70 years since its founding, the CBF has given out nearly $50 million in grants to support pro bono, legal aid and related initiatives, and more than $42 million since 1999.

Over that time, the CBF has honed its grantmaking focus around access to justice and expanded its grantmaking partnerships with other foundations, the courts, and government entities. More than 5,200 individual donors, more than 200 law firms, corporations and other law-related organizations, and the CBF’s many dedicated partners have enabled the CBF to increase our annual grants more than tenfold over the past 20 years. Today, the CBF awards over $2 million in grants, investing in the entire pro bono and legal aid system in our community.

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