News Tag: Legal Innovation


February 17, 2018

CBF Receives ABA Louis Brown Award for Legal Access

The CBF was honored to receive this year’s Louis Brown Award for Legal Access from the American Bar Association at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting earlier this month.

The Brown Award is an annual award presented by the ABA to programs and projects that advance access to legal services for those of moderate incomes in ways that are exemplary and replicable.

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February 15, 2018

JEPY Award Voting Underway, Legal Service Delivery Innovation Award Hotly Contested

The Second Annual JEPY Awards Ballot is live through Sunday, February 26. Votes are being cast for six categories ahead of the February 26th Awards Ceremony.

Voting has begun for the JEPY Awards, the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project’s annual event recognizing achievement in bringing affordable legal services to the masses and celebrating innovative and community focused practices.

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October 4, 2017

CBA Now Accepting Applications for New Limited Scope Referral Panel

Every year in Illinois, hundreds of thousands of people go to court without the help of an attorney. Nearly two-thirds of defendants are unrepresented, and for some types of cases, that number exceeds ninety percent. While some are “DIY litigants” who prefer to go it alone, the vast majority would rather have an attorney they simply can’t find or can’t afford one.

The Chicago Bar Association’s new Limited Scope Referral Panel aims to fix that problem.

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August 24, 2017

Put Yourself in Your Own Shoes Part 2 (Where I Answer My Own Questions)

In my June post, I suggested we should look at our profession and the market for legal services by putting ourselves in our own shoes when we look for other professional services. So what does that look like? I raised the questions in June. Now I’ll give my best shot at answering them.

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June 27, 2017

Put Yourself in Your Own Shoes

When it comes to improving access to justice, one of the most important things we can do as a profession is to put ourselves in the shoes of our clients and potential clients. Looking at things through the lens of our customers opens the door to a myriad of ideas for improving how our profession markets and delivers legal services and revamping the design and operation of the court system. In many ways though, we only need to put ourselves in our own shoes and look in the mirror to see how we can do better.

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April 25, 2017

Why Do We Maintain an Artificial Barrier to Innovation and Access to Justice?

As I read the news a couple of weeks ago that the Ford Foundation became the latest institution to commit to impact investing (i.e., investing for social impact as well as financial return), it got me thinking about the many exciting possibilities those types of investments could create for access to justice. And then I quickly remembered that this is largely off limits, because our profession clings to outmoded and artificially limiting rules that prevent lawyers from sharing ownership or profits with outside investors. We have enough challenges in our quest to bridge the gulf in access to legal assistance without having to do it with one hand tied behind our collective back, and it is well past time to remove this barrier.

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March 23, 2017

JEP Shares Ideas, Lessons Learned at National Conference

Justice Entrepreneurs Project attorneys Magda Derisma, Sonny Thatch, Alyease Jones, and Cliff Helm joined JEP Director Trevor Clarke in Fort Worth, Texas, for the Fourth Annual Access to Justice through Legal Incubators and Nonprofit Law Firms conference. As in years past, the JEP played a prominent role at the three day conference, adding our voices to plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, and breakout groups. The JEP is the largest incubator in the country, responsible for the most incubator participants and alumni (objectively), and the most successful and innovative firms (subjective, yes, but we haven’t heard of any challengers). As such, the JEP has learned a lot, and has a lot to share, about meeting the needs of low and moderate income people through new models of legal service delivery.

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August 17, 2016

Illinois’ 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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March 2, 2016

How the JEP Helped One Lawyer Achieve Her Dream

Joanna Long, an alum of the CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP), was featured on “In Their Own Words,” a series by the American Bar Association that highlights lawyers from around the country sharing the benefits of incubator project.

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May 6, 2015

JEP Featured at ABA National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services

Terri Mascherin of Jenner & Block LLP and chair of the Justice Entrepreneurs Project steering committee, gave a featured presentation about the JEP at the ABA National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services.

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