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Illinois Bar Foundation announces Fellowship Program to train new lawyers, assist low-income residents

The Illinois Bar Foundation has launched a fellowship program to benefit both new law school graduates and low-income residents who need access to the civil justice system.

During this initial year, the Foundation will partner with three Illinois Law Schools and share the cost of salary and benefits with participating law schools so each can hire a recent graduate to work in that school’s civil legal aid clinic. The law school will select and employ the student and the IBF hopes to match selected graduates with mentors that can help the young attorneys develop.

“The Fellowship was designed to increase the skill set of new lawyers through employment while helping financially-distressed individuals with their unmet civil legal needs,” said Judge Debra Walker, IBF president. “The law student will gain experience to help him or her obtain permanent employment while the legal clinic can expand its services to better serve those in need.”
The program will be launched in the spring of 2014 on a trial basis in three of the five Districts with Loyola University School of Law in Chicago, Northern Illinois University College of Law in DeKalb, and Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale.

“We very much want to expand this program to include a Fellowship in any Illinois law school that wants to participate, but IBF needs the continued support of ISBA members to do so,” said Dave Anderson, executive director of the IBF. A campaign is underway to enable donors to support this program. Donations may be made at the IBF website:

Posted on December 19, 2013 by Chris Bonjean