CBA Record March-April 2020

Chicago Bar Foundation Report

The 2020 Investing in Justice Campaign Justice People Deserve, Not Just What They Can Afford By Meredith Mazzuca, CBF Director of Marketing & Communications T his March marks the 14th year of the Investing in Justice Campaign, a community-wide effort through they could otherwise serve. From web-based resources, legal aid hotlines and advice desks to large impact litigation and advocacy work, these organizations provide a continuum of legal services to the people who most need help but can’t afford it.

related initiatives, leveragingmillions more in legal aid funding from the CBF’s foundation and government partners in the process. Over the years, the Campaign has been led by some of the most prominent members of our legal community, including Linda Coberly, Rebecca Eisner, Jesse Ruiz, Susan Levy, Brett Hart, Patrick Fitzgerald, Dan Reidy, Emily Nicklin, Bill Von Hoene, Jr., Chuck Douglas, Jeff Stone, Dan Webb and Tony Valukas. Following in this tradition, the 2020 Campaign is being chaired by Sean Berkowitz, a Partner at Latham & Watkins LLP. Today, we can proudly declare the Cam- paign is the largest andmost impactful initia- tive of its kind anywhere in the country. It is a national model, with Chicago’s legal com- munity leading by example. The Campaign makes it possible for tens of thousands of Chicagoans in need to get crucial legal help each year. However, the need to support our community is still great, and we have proven through the Campaign that we can make a big impact in meeting this need. While we all support a wide variety of worthy causes, ensuring that all people have

which thousands of attorneys and legal professionals at more than 150 participating law firms, corporations, the CBA and other law-related organizations in the Chicago area come together around our profession’s common cause: ensuring that everyone has access to necessary legal help, not just those who can afford it. Many of themost vulnerable people in the Chicago area count on pro bono and legal aid services when faced with often life-changing legal issues, and Chicago’s many outstanding pro bono and legal aid attorneys are dedicated advocates for them. But despite their efforts, that help remains out of reach for more than half of our low-income and disadvantaged neighbors because there are not enough resources to go around. When thinking about the thousands of people receiving help and how great the need still is, it can be easy to lose sight of the real people behind these numbers. These are our neighbors, the barista serving your coffee, the person cleaning your office, the parking lot attendant. Their individual stories are the motivating force behind the Campaign, and the Campaign is howwe can write a lot more happy endings to these stories. The Investing in JusticeCampaign enables more than 30 pro bono and legal aid organi- zations to extend legal help to tens of thou- sands more low-income Chicagoans than

While we all have important roles to play as individuals, the Campaign has proven that we have the power to significantly expand the capacity of our pro bono and legal aid system when the legal community comes together as one around this issue. Specifically, donations to the Campaign: • Leverage significantly more money from government and other foundations • Save hundreds of thousands of dollars in other social services by enabling people to resolve legal problems before they spin out of control • Benefit from the CBF’s rigorous grants process, ensuring accountability and strategically directing funds to where they will make the most impact When the Investing in Justice Campaign launched in 2007, it raised more than $600,000 fromabout 1,600 individuals at 35 participating law firms and companies. The Campaign has come a long way since that promising beginning. Last year, more than 5,200 individuals donated $1.56 million, bringing the total raised over the first thirteen years to more than $17.5 million. Each year, one hundred percent of those dollars directly supports the work of dozens of pro bono and legal aid organizations and

The CBA again is one of the organizations participating in the Campaign, and we encourage all CBA members to contribute at

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