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 the statewide leader in advancing equal justice, with four key objectives.

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

Encourage pro-bono legal work.

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

Extend assistance to colleagues in need of support.


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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Support access to justice in action

We are proud to have served approximately 52,000 individuals throughout Illinois this year through our access to justice and lawyers care programs and hope to serve many more with your continued support. Donate today to help your neighbors throughout Illinois receive assistance for basic needs such as housing, safety, education and accessibility to legal resources this holiday season.

Make an impact for those in need this holiday season with a 100% tax-deductible gift this Giving Tuesday.

Your gift helps provide funding for organizations across the state working with vulnerable populations, to ensure they receive the legal support and resources they so desperately need, and to support attorneys and their families during times of crisis.