News Tag: Pro Bono


December 6, 2018

Leading By Example

Law firms and corporations play an integral role in the CBF and the larger cause of equal access to justice in many ways. Before 2008, however, our community lacked the means to recognize those firms and companies who embody best practices in their leadership and comprehensive support for the cause.

Then, as now, firms and companies […]

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November 1, 2018

Pro Bono Week 2018—Celebrating the Power of Pro Bono

Hundreds of lawyers and other legal professionals in Chicago came together last week through the CBA and CBF’s 14th Annual Pro Bono Week to celebrate the important pro bono work being done in our community. But the Week’s focus goes far beyond just celebrating past deeds of pro bono greatness. It’s also about looking ahead, envisioning a brighter pro bono future, and finding new opportunities to make an impact through pro bono in the year ahead. And whether you were able to participate in one of the events or not, there is a lot you can do to make your own pro bono impact and the CBF is here to help you do that.

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October 25, 2018

Pro Bono Connects JEPers to Practice Experience and Their Community

The CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project is in an open-plan, loft office space just west of the Loop. This is where program participants (JEPers) start their innovative, socially conscious law practices serving low and middle income Chicagoans. This is where they learn skills and techniques for “doing law differently”—setting predictable prices, offering unbundled services, making use […]

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October 18, 2018

Partner-Powered Training Helps JEP Lawyers Innovate

At the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP), we prepare talented and entrepreneurial lawyers in the Chicago area to launch and manage innovative, socially conscious, and successful law practices. One way we do this is through our comprehensive training program that focuses on building a new kind of practice—one that is more accessible and affordable to […]

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October 16, 2018

Stand by Someone Who Needs You, In a Way Only You Can

This year’s Pro Bono Week theme, “Celebrating the Power of Pro Bono,” invites us to think about what that power looks like in real life to someone who is facing a serious legal issue but unable to afford the legal help they need. As I often do, I am turning to music for my inspiration, echoing the choice of theme song for our Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon earlier this year.

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October 11, 2018

Following in the Pro Bono Footsteps of Edward Lewis

Erin McCloskey Maus receives the 2011 Lewis Award from Co-Chair Stephanie Scharf

Edward J. Lewis II was, and continues to be, an inspiration to our entire legal community. Prior to his death at age 37, Edward had completed over 2,000 pro bono hours and inspired dozens of fellow attorneys at Jenner & Block to get […]

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October 4, 2018

CBF and Paladin Announce Groundbreaking New Partnership

The CBF is pleased to announce the launch of the new statewide pro bono website, the Online Pro Bono Opportunity Guide, a joint initiative with Paladin, a legal tech startup. The new pro bono portal matches the CBF’s acclaimed pro bono resources with Paladin’s groundbreaking platform to help attorneys find and connect with pro bono and legal aid organizations that are a good fit for their expertise, interest, and availability.

This dynamic resource lets all Illinois lawyers and legal professionals explore a comprehensive database of opportunities at pro bono and legal aid organizations across the state, and sign up to get involved. Users can sort through over 100 opportunities by area of law, type of client, or scope of work. The new site will also allow legal aid and pro bono organizations to update and add content in real-time to ensure that this is always the most current and comprehensive listing of pro bono opportunities in Illinois.

The CBF has long published a popular Pro Bono Opportunities Guide as a print publication to help lawyers find and connect to pro bono opportunities, and CBF staff with expertise on these issues helps facilitate these partnerships. This joint project between CBF and Paladin leverages that content and expertise to increase efficiency and accessibility.

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October 3, 2018

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for Pro Bono)

It seems like every day and week is some quirky celebration these days. The first full week of March is National Procrastination Week. National Waffle Week falls from September 2nd-8th this year. September 19th is the fan-favorite International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Here at the CBF, our favorite, for the 14th year running, is […]

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August 6, 2018

A Pro Bono Checklist for Success

A good pro bono program takes work to develop, maintain, and improve. It requires a lot of planning to ensure it meets the needs of the client population, fills a gap in existing resources, and incorporates feedback from all stakeholders. It should have clear criteria for screening cases and a plan for periodic review and adjustment to reflect changes in the community, the law, or the courts.

If that sounds like a lot to think about, that’s because it is. Fortunately, the CBF has created a tool to help organizations looking to establish new pro bono programs to think through these and the many other issues that are critical to designing and implementing a successful program.

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July 19, 2018

Connecting Lawyers to Pro Bono Through the Years

We all know that pro bono service is a vital part of the practice of law. It’s easy to see the many benefits of pro bono to the client, the profession, the court, and the volunteer. It can be challenging, however, to know where to start.

Understanding how busy lawyers can be, the CBF works to remove barriers to doing pro bono and connect lawyers to the many great opportunities to get involved. Since 1992, the CBF has worked with dozens of pro bono and legal aid organizations to create a comprehensive resource that helps prospective volunteers understand the pro bono landscape and connect with volunteer opportunities. The Guide to Volunteer Opportunities for Pro Bono Attorneys in the Chicago Area sorts pro bono opportunities by area of law, population served, partner organization, and type of activity, making it easier than ever to quickly identify opportunities that are a good fit.

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