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Illinois Bar Foundation

Illinois Bar Foundation's big boost to provide "springboard to success"

Chicago history teacher Dennis Kass, 37, puts his law degree to use at the school where he teaches – Infinity Math, Science and Technology High School in Little Village – by providing free legal information and services to students and their families at after-school clinics.

During the 2012-2013 school year alone, he handled more than 125 cases through the nonprofit he established in 2010, the Chicago Law and Education Foundation (CLEF), on legal matters that run the gamut from orders of protection for victims of domestic violence and immigration issues to help in avoiding mortgage foreclosure and expunging of criminal records.

Now, his fledging foundation, with an annual operating budget of about $21,500, is getting a big boost, thanks to the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the fundraising arm of the Illinois State Bar Association. For every new or increased dollar pledged through a matching grant campaign from June 1 through September 30, the bar foundation will match it up to $5,000. That’s on top of a $6,000 grant The IBF already awarded CLEF in April.

The money will go a long way towards helping the Chicago native expand the legal clinics to other schools and ultimately enable him to pay the salary of a full-time lawyer. Down the road, he dreams of offering legal clinics in every public high school.

“Dennis has a sincere commitment to providing access to justice to low-income individuals who need it the most,” said David M. Anderson, IBF executive director. “We hope these funds will be a springboard to further growth and success.”

ISBA President John E. Thies asks Illinois Bar Foundation President Hon. Debra Walker how IBF is addressing the issue of access to justice in Illinois. They also discuss the IBF Lawyers Care Fund - how lawyers help take care of their own.

ISBA Past President John G. Locallo (left) and his band 5-thirty performed at Lawyers Rock Legends for the third straight year.
ISBA Past President John G. Locallo (left) and his band 5-thirty performed at Lawyers Rock Legends for the third straight year.
The 3rd Annual Lawyers Rock Legends rocked the house at Buddy Guy’s Legends and raised approximately $20,000 for the Illinois Bar Foundation on Feb. 28.

The event also featured a performance by Exoneree, a group of five former prisoners who were exonerated for crimes they did not commit. Exoneree members William Dillion, Eddie Lowery, Antoine Day, Raymond Towler and Darby Tillis served a combined total of 87 years for their supposed crimes ranging from murder to rape. They were later exonerated and freed through the efforts of the national Innocence Project. The group performed the opening set for ISBA-member bands 5-thirty, CAC ATTACK, Disbard, The Objections and The Thornes.

The event raised much-needed funds to support the programs and services of the Illinois Bar Foundation and its M. Denny Hassakis Fund supporting juvenile justice reform.

The mission of the Illinois Bar Foundation is to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, especially for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. This year, the Foundation will distribute more than $400,000 in grants to legal aid organizations across the state of Illinois, and in Lawyers Care Fund support to attorneys and their families in need. The Illinois Bar Foundation is located at 20 S. Clark St., Suite 910, Chicago, IL  60603, and the phone number is (312) 726-6072.

IBF Executive Director David M. Anderson
IBF Executive Director David M. Anderson
David M. Anderson has joined the Illinois Bar Foundation as its Executive Director. He comes to the IBF with more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector in both staff and board volunteer roles and is a member of the Illinois Bar.

Anderson held a variety of leadership positions in development, operations and grant making while with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. He led a team of more than 100 professionals across the country on behalf of the Foundation’s 9/11 Disaster Relief Campaign which raised $20 million. Additionally, Anderson was the founding Executive Director of the McCormick Freedom Museum, a museum dedicated to the First Amendment. He was responsible for assembling the team to design, build and operate this one-of-a-kind museum.

As a board volunteer, Anderson is the President of Bears Care, the charitable arm of the Chicago Bears and has been a long-serving board member of BUILD, an organization with a 40-year history of serving at-risk youth across Chicago.

Anderson is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and Loyola Chicago School of Law and resides in Chicago.


 

 

 

The Illinois Bar Foundation will host the annual Lawyers Rock Legends on Thursday, Feb. 28. This evening of Rock, Motown, Jazz & Blues will take place from 7-11:30 p.m. at Buddy Guy's Legends, 700 S. Wabash.

Proceeds from this event benefit the IBF's M. Denny Hassakis Fund.

 Tickets and sponsorship packages are now available!

  • 'License to Rock' Sponsor - $5,000

Includes: 10 premium seats; select a band to perform and announce the band on stage; name/firm name on IBF website and event materials; appetizers, beer, wine, and soda.

  • Legends Sponsor - $2,500

Includes: 5 premium seats; an opportunity to announce a band on stage; name/firm name on IBF website and event materials; appetizers, beer, wine, and soda.

  • Premium Seats - $125

Includes: 1 premium seat; appetizers, beer, wine, and soda
(Limited tickets are available).

  • General Admission - $50

Includes: Admission (standing room only); appetizers, beer, wine, and soda.
 
Learn more and register at www.illinoisbarfoundation.org or by calling the Illinois Bar Foundation at 312.726.6072.
 
Special accommodations will be granted to those with disabilities, please call ahead.

Judge Debra Walker
Judge Debra Walker
The Honorable Debra B. Walker, a judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, will be inducted as president of the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), at the organization’s 14th Annual Gala on Friday, Oct.19, at the Four Seasons Hotel. Judge Walker will be the second woman president in the organization’s 61 year history.

Judge Walker, who sits in the court’s Domestic Relations Division, received her B.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois Urbana in 1982, and her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1987. Before being elected to the bench in November 2008, she was a partner at Clausen Miller P.C., concentrating in defending professional liability matters.

Judge Walker serves as vice chair on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and as a commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. She is a past president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, a past president of the North Michigan Avenue Business & Professional Women’s Network, and an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Economic Club of Chicago.

A native of Carthage, Illinois, she now resides in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood with her husband and two children.

Rudy Schade
Rudy Schade
The Illinois Bar Foundation will honor Rudolf G. Schade, Jr. of Cassiday Schade LLP at Gala 2012 on Oct. 19. The Gala will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago. This year’s leadership includes John B. Simon of Jenner & Block and Todd A. Smith of Power, Rogers & Smith as Gala Chairs, as well as Perry J. Browder, of Simmons Firm and Peter J. Flowers of Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers as Board Gala Chairs.

The night includes cocktails, live and silent auctions, a raffle, dinner & dancing and music by the Ken Arlen Orchestra.  To become a sponsor or purchase tickets, please call the IBF at 312.726.6072.

Our Thanks to the following Sponsors:

Partners

  • Jerome Mirza Foundation
  • The Simmons Firm

Live/Silent Auction Sponsor

  • Cassiday Schade, LLP

VIP Reception Sponsor

  • Russell K. Scott

Raffle Sponsor

  • Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers

Wine Sponsor

  • ISBA Mutual Insurance Company

Champagne Sponsor

  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

Martini Bar Sponsor

  • Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin, Ltd.

Program Book Sponsor

  • Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.

Valet Sponsor

The Illinois Bar Foundation will host its annual Baseball Classic on July 20 at 7:15 p.m. The game will feature the Chicago Cubs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Tickets are $225 and include all food and beverages. Sponsorships are available. Contact the IBF at (312) 726-6072 for more information or click here to purchase tickets.

The Illinois Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, has announced a change to its bylaws that will shorten the term length of its officers from two years to one year, as of June 2014. The change was approved at the IBF’s board meeting on June 14.

During the transition, Cook County Judge Debra B. Walker, of Chicago, will become president at the IBF’s board meeting in October and will hold the office for 18 months through June 2014. Other officers, who will hold their terms during the same time, are James M. Lestikow, of Hinshaw & Culbertson, Springfield, first vice president; Shawn S. Kasserman, of Corboy & Demetrio, Chicago, second vice president; and Elizabeth Kaveny, of Burke, Wise, Morrissey & Kaveny, Chicago, third vice president. The remaining positions of secretary and treasurer will be appointed prior to the October meeting.

"By adopting the terms and officer structure of our partner, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Foundation Board now gives more of its members the opportunity to bring their zeal, passion and enthusiasm for the foundation to its leadership,” said IBF Board President George F. Mahoney, III, of Joliet.

The mission of the Illinois Bar Foundation is to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, especially for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. This year, the Foundation will distribute more than $425,000 in grants to legal aid organizations across the state of Illinois, and in Lawyers Care Fund support to attorneys and their families in need.

The Illinois Bar Foundation will host its annual Baseball Classic on July 20 at 7:15 p.m. The game will feature the Chicago Cubs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Tickets are $225 and include all food and beverages. Sponsorships are available. Contact the IBF at (312) 726-6072 for more information or click here to purchase tickets.