News Tag: Legal Aid Funding


March 23, 2017

Take Action: Advocate for LSC Funding

As the FY17 federal budget negotiations continue, we encourage you to reach out to your Senators and member of Congress to encourage them to oppose any efforts to reduce or eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), encouraging them to instead support a much-needed increase in this funding.

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March 23, 2017

The Right Way to Respond to the President’s Budget Proposal: Using Good Baseball Strategy

As you’ve surely heard by now, President Trump’s first budget blueprint released last week targets the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and 18 other agencies for elimination, and calls for significant cuts to a number of other federal agencies and programs that provide vital help for people in need. This is just the start of the budget process and represents both a challenge and a big opportunity for our legal community to respond. We are advocates by trade with a strong hand to play here. We need to call on those skills to remind our members of Congress of the critical role LSC, as the principal funder of civil legal aid at the national level, and other federal access to justice programs play in assuring fairness in the justice system and carrying out one of our nation’s most fundamental responsibilities.

In honor of it being less than two weeks from the Cubs opening game as defending World Series champs (and how cool is it to be able to say that!), I think it is fitting to use a baseball analogy to frame the issue and talk about key points to remember for our legal community’s response.

It’s only the top of the second inning, but the opposing pitcher has knocked our team off its game by calling unusual and often unpredictable pitches and challenging basic notions of sportsmanship. The good news: it is still very early in the game, we’ve got the meat of our batting order coming up, one of our best pitchers on the mound, and a deep and rested bench and bullpen to call upon. While that is all good, it’s going to take a strong game plan to turn those advantages into a win.

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March 17, 2017

Bar groups unite to save aid program

An article in the March 17, 2017 edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin focuses on the President’s elimination of all Legal Services Corporation funding in his recently proposed budget and the devastating effects this funding loss would have on legal aid services in Illinois. The article highlights the response of LSC-funded organizations in Illinois and national and local bar groups, including the CBF.

Read the article…

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January 27, 2017

Hands off Chicago’s legal aid funding

In an op-ed for Crain’s Chicago Business, CBF President Chuck Smith and Executive Director Bob Glaves respond to recent talk of eliminating federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation.

“Wherever we stand politically, we all should take this opportunity to restore confidence that everyone will get a fair shake in the justice system. Ensuring that there is proper funding for LSC is a critical part of our collective charge. This is not a partisan issue: It is a part of who we are as a country.”

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July 14, 2016

Illinois has a (stop-gap) budget!

We are happy to report that the temporary budget released funding under the Access to Justice Act to begin developing a central hotline and network of legal assistance that will help thousands of veterans and military families in need throughout the state. Join us in thanking Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the four legislative leaders (Speaker […]

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May 19, 2016

25 Years a Lawyer

A few weeks ago the congratulations emails started to arrive in my inbox because this month marks my 25th anniversary as a lawyer. The emails weren’t coming from anyone I know, but from people trying to sell me mementos of the occasion.

While I have been very fortunate in my legal career and remain proud to be a lawyer today, I won’t be buying any of that stuff. As anniversaries often are though, it was a time to take stock of what has happened over the time since I took the plunge, and it specifically got me thinking about the trajectory of access to justice since those heady days when I got sworn in. So I thought I’d take a brief break from pontificating about the future of our cause to look back at where we’ve been and what we can learn from that going forward.

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May 10, 2016

aba legislative meetingCBF Fights for Equal Justice at ABA Day

Last month, attorneys and staff members representing the CBA and CBF, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association again traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in ABA Day, the ABA’s annual advocacy event in Washington. Each year, Congress considers legislation that impacts access to justice, the justice system, and the legal profession. That’s why it is vital that leaders in our legal community in Chicago, and elsewhere in Illinois, participate in ABA Day each year to educate Congress on important issues impacting access to justice for Illinois residents. Proudly representing the CBF were CBF President Allegra Nethery, Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs Greg Boyle and Dawn Willis, Advocacy Committee member Emily Roschek, Executive Director Bob Glaves, and Program Manager Angela Inzano.

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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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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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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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