About Us

Supporting Access to Justice and Lawyers in Need

Each year thousands of low-income individuals and families struggle with difficult civil legal problems without the benefit of legal representation. Whether against the back drop of the Chicago skyline or in a rural farm town in the heart of Illinois, access to justice is often elusive or unattainable.  That is where the Illinois Bar Foundation comes in and helps remove barriers, improving the lives of our neighbors, helping to create a better Illinois for all.

Our Story

In 1951, a handful of visionary leaders of the Illinois State Bar Association recognized the need for a statewide charitable and philanthropic organization and founded the Illinois Bar Foundation. Their initial commitment was to provide aid to deserving members of the Illinois bar who, because of age or infirmity, could no longer provide for their own care or support. The Foundation has since expanded its scope to ensure meaningful access to the justice system for all, especially for those with limited means.

Our vision is to be a statewide leader in (a) assisting lawyers in crisis, and (b) advancing equal justice with the following key objectives:

Enhancing the availability of legal aid to those of limited means.

Engaging students and members of the legal professions to support and provide pro bono legal services.

Educating Illinois residents regarding their rights and responsibilities under the law.


Thanks to the Public Interest Law Initiative’s Conflict of Interest Panel, an adult guardian of two minor children was able to secure pro bono representation and successfully keep the children out of an abusive situation.

“Knowing there was someone experienced representing us, gave me peace of mind about a situation that was very unsettling.” PILI Client

Our Programs

The IBF’s charitable programs advance the Foundation’s mission and further our values of ensuring equal access to justice, encouraging pro bono legal service, educating Illinoisans on their rights and responsibilities, and providing support for those in need.

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More About IBF

Our Leadership

Check out the passionate individuals who lead the IBF

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Champions Program

Learn how to become a Champion

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Our Supporters

Join our long list of dedicated donors and partners

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Awards & Recognition

Read about this year’s honored award recipients

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Stories & News Updates

Check out the latest updates on our blog.

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