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Illinois Bar Foundation

Illinois Bar Foundation promotes innovation with 3-year $105,000 grant to Illinois Legal Aid Online

Posted on June 21, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

 The Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, will provide a three-year, $105,000 special-project grant to support an innovative new program of Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO). The announcement was made following its April 1 board of directors meeting in Chicago. The funding is in addition to a $15,000 operating grant from the IBF.

With the funding, ILAO will launch the American Bar Association-sponsored Legal Answers, which is an online portal to allow people with civil legal problems to submit their questions securely to be reviewed by volunteer attorneys and receive brief legal advice. The program originated in Tennessee as Online Tennessee Justice and has been adopted by the ABA with the goal of expanding it to all 50 states this year.

The IBF’s grant will enable ILAO to hire an attorney part-time to launch the Illinois effort. ILAO, which is a national leader in using technology to help people understand their legal issues and enhance access to justice, will make the Illinois version of Legal Answers a new national standard, according to Lisa Colpoys, ILAO executive director.

Rock Island Attorney appointed to IBF Board of Directors

Posted on April 25, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Michael J. WarnerMichael J. Warner, a partner in the personal injury law firm of Warner & Zimmerle, in Rock Island, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), and will serve a two-year term.

The Foundation raises funds for distribution to Illinois nonprofit organizations whose mission is to provide free legal services to those with limited means. It also provides assistance to lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. The Foundation also oversees the Illinois JusticeCorps program, which provides trained part-time student volunteers to serve as guides in courthouses. This year, the Foundation will distribute more than $850,000 in funds.

Warner has been a lawyer in private practice since 1972 after serving for a year in the Rock Island State’s Attorneys Office. He has been a member of the Rock Island Bar Association since 1971. He was a board member of the Mississippi Valley Alzheimer’s Association and is a past president of the Rock Island County Mental Health Board.

Illinois Bar Foundation receives $11,000 Cy Pres donation

Posted on March 8, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

The Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, has received a cy pres award of approximately $11,000 as recommended by McGuire Law, P.C., in Chicago.                 

The donation represents the remaining funds from a class action settlement the firm won in 2015, Murray et al v. Bill Me Later, Inc. (Northern District of Ill., Case No. 12CVO4789), according to Myles McGuire, principal at the firm.

“We chose the Illinois Bar Foundation because of its fine work helping ensure that all Illinois residents receive access to justice,” he said. “Their efforts to support other lawyers who have fallen on hard times financially also figured in to our decision. They were a natural choice.”

Edelson PC Makes $345,000 Donation to Illinois Bar Foundation

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

National consumer rights firm Edelson PC, headquartered in Chicago, announced it has made a $345,000 donation to the Illinois Bar Foundation. 

Jay Edelson, the founder of the firm, said the donation is part of his firm's broader efforts to support local and national organizations that promote open access to the courts.  “It has become more difficult for ordinary people to have full and fair access to the courts; this imbalance especially impacts disadvantaged communities. Legal aid organizations, like the IBF, are of critical importance in keeping the playing field as level as possible,” Edelson explained.

IBF to host Lawyers Rock on March 10

Posted on January 20, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Please save the date for the Illinois Bar Foundation’s Lawyers Rock on Thursday, March 10 at the Double Door in Chicago. Enjoy live music and lots of fun as lawyers rock out for justice. The proceeds of this event help the Illinois Bar Foundation ensure access to justice and support juvenile justice causes through the Foundation’s M. Denny Hassakis Fund.

Date: Thursday, March 10 from 6:00 – 11:00 pm

Location: Double Door: 1572 N. Milwaukee Chicago, Illinois 60622

For tickets and sponsorship information, please call 312-726-6072 or visit

“License to Rock” Sponsors:

Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.

Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C.

Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association

ISBA Mutual

WBAI Leading Lawyer Ladies

Awards Sponsor:

Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education

Parking Sponsor:

Mark L. Karno & Associates

Beverage Sponsors:

Lisa Nyuli and Weiler & Lengle PC

IBF to host Lake County Fellows Reception

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Morgan Yingst

Join the Fellows of the Illinois Bar Foundation on Thursday, January 28 for the Lake County Fellows Reception, honoring attorneys Deborah Goldberg and Bernard Wysocki for their leadership and dedication to the law. The proceeds from this event will help the Foundation further its mission to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, especially for those with limited means; assist lawyers who have fallen on hard times; and provide legal Fellowships to recent law school graduates.

IBF to honor Holderman, Rosato Perea at Fellows Breakfast on Dec. 11

Posted on October 23, 2015 by Morgan Yingst

Jennifer Rosato PereaPaula H. HoldermanThe Illinois Bar Foundation will honor Paula Hudson Holderman and Jennifer Rosato Perea at the annual Fellows Breakfast on Friday, December 11, 2015 at The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.

Paula Hudson HoldermanWinston & Strawn 

ISBA Past President Paula Hudson Holderman will be honored with the 2015 Distinguished Service to Law & Society Award. This award is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to law and society and his/her contribution includes involvement with the Illinois Bar Foundation and The Fellows.  

Jennifer Rosato Perea, Dean, DePaul University College of Law  

Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea will be honored with the 2015 Honorary Fellow Award. This award is given to individuals whose professional and public careers set an example to which others aspire. 

Bar Foundation President tours Lawndale Legal Center

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Chicago lawyer Shawn Kasserman (at right), president of the Illinois Bar Foundation, recently toured the Lawndale Christian Legal Center as a guest of the center’s executive director and lead attorney, Clifford Ellis. The center is one of 23 legal-aid nonprofits in Illinois which shared in $185,000 in foundation grants this year. 

Illinois Bar Foundation to honor Todd Smith at Annual Gala

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Todd A. SmithThe Illinois Bar Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, will hold its 16th annual black-tie Gala fundraiser on Friday evening, October 16, 2015, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Place, Chicago. During the event, ISBA Past President Todd A. Smith, founding partner of the personal injury law firm of Power Rogers & Smith, will receive the foundation’s 2015 Distinguished Award for Excellence.

Included in the ticket price of $500 per person is a reception, dinner and dancing to the Ken Arlen Orchestra. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (312) 726-6072 or visit!2015gala/c2en.

Gala Co-Chairs

  • Leonard Amari (Amari & Locallo)
  • John Cooney (Cooney & Conway)
  • Kevin Conway (Cooney & Conway)

Gala Board Co-Chairs

  • Shawn S. Kasserman, (Tomasik, Kotin, Kasserman)
  • Mark L. Karno (Mark L. Karno & Associates)

Illinois Bar Foundation names 2015 Recipients of Post Graduate Legal Fellowship Program

Posted on August 14, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

Marishonta M. WilkersonBryan McIntyreCalli Burnett








The Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, has awarded its 2015 Post Graduate Legal Fellowship Program grants to three 2015 law school graduates.

The Fellowships, which provide clinical support for three law school legal clinics, were awarded this summer to Calli Leigh Burnett, of Chicago; Bryan McIntyre, of Urbana, and Marishonta M. Wilkerson, of Milwaukee.

The foundation launched its Post Graduate Legal Fellowship Program in 2014 to fund public interest jobs for recent law graduates, according to Shawn Kasserman, IBF president. The foundation will award $25,000 to each of the three fellowships. The law schools will each contribute a stipend to help fund the positions.

Wilkerson will serve at NIU Law’s Zeke Giorgi Clinic in Rockford; McIntyre will work in the Civil Litigation Clinic at the University of Illinois; and Burnett will support the Community Law Center Clinic at Loyola University Chicago.