Warren Lupel Lawyers Care Fund

Providing a Lifeline for Colleagues in Need

The founding objective of the Illinois Bar Foundation in 1951, the Lawyers Care Fund remains a core component of our mission today. Named after IBF Past President Warren Lupel, this program provides financial aid to deserving members of the Illinois Bar during times of crisis, helping them pay for day-to-day necessities when they are no longer able to support themselves and their families.

The typical recipient is a solo practitioner or small firm lawyer who has had a major medical or mental health crisis that prevents them from practicing law, either temporarily or permanently. The related medical expenses often deplete savings and make maintaining a reasonable standard of living nearly impossible. The IBF offers a lifeline to help keep these attorneys and their families in their homes, buy groceries, and pay medical bills. In FY24, the IBF has distributed over $120,000 in financial aid to attorneys and their families in need throughout Illinois.

Know an attorney in need? Please contact program director Jessie Reeves at 312-920-4681 or jreeves@illinoisbarfoundation.org for a 100% confidential discussion or to request an application.

See how the lawyers care fund changes lives

*Please select the Warren Lupel Lawyers Care Fund when making a donation

The Illinois Bar Foundation’s Lawyers Care Fund is intended to provide support for Illinois lawyers and their families who have fallen on hard times. Interested parties may apply at any time of the year, from anywhere in the state. Please note that our funding is not unlimited and meeting the following criteria is essential.

Funding Eligibility

  • Applicants must have had a meaningful practice in Illinois, which means the applicant:
    • Was registered with the ARDC during their years of practice AND
    • Represented Illinois clients on a regular basis OR
    • Worked for the federal government and were not required to register with the ARDC and had a meaningful practice in Illinois
    • NOTE – Non-attorney immediate family members (dependents and/or spouses) of deceased attorneys who meet the criteria above are eligible to apply for support
  • Applicants must be registered with the ARDC if they are practicing law in Illinois
  • Absent a compelling situation, applicants must live in Illinois during the time they apply for and receive support
  • There is a preference for applicants that were/are members of the ISBA and who are/were donors to the Illinois Bar Foundation
  • For questions about your eligibility, please contact Jessie Reeves at 312-920-4681 or jreeves@illinoisbarfoundation.org. All information will remain strictly confidential and will never be shared without your permission outside of the committee.

Apply for Aid

Applicant/Applicant Family Need

  • Applicants must have sufficient need to justify support. Need may include:
    • Serious, diagnosed physical, mental or emotional health issues, whether temporary or permanent, which reduce or eliminate the ability of the applicant to support him/herself or to support his/her family
    • NOTE – The Foundation does not require that applicants be destitute or near-destitute before they are eligible. However, in recognition of the charitable nature of our mission the Foundation will consider lifestyle of the applicant during a determination of eligibility or level of support
    • Applicants may be eligible for support when providing for care to spouses, dependent children or dependent parents with severe physical, mental or emotional health issues

Apply for Aid

Funding Considerations

  • Funding is reviewed at least yearly and sometimes more frequently, as determined by the Lawyers Care Fund Committee or its representatives
  • Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Funding is not unlimited and, even when granted, is subject to revision at the sole discretion of the Committee
  • Funding is not intended to provide indefinite support and, absent compelling reasons, will not exceed three years
  • Recipients should demonstrate progress toward self-sufficiency
  • Support may be contingent upon conditions deemed appropriate by the Committee, including but not limited to supplying additional financial information; participation in counseling programs; consultation with attorneys, financial or tax professionals, etc.

Additional Considerations

The Illinois Bar Foundation generally will not consider funding attorneys who have had their law license involuntarily suspended or revoked by the ARDC. Funding in these cases may be conditioned upon participation by the applicant in the Lawyers Assistance Program or some other counseling or assistance program.

For applicants with a history of substance abuse or mental health issues, the Illinois Bar Foundation has a preference for those who have undertaken a treatment program with licensed professionals and have an established track record of success in such a recovery program. Support may be conditioned on participation in such a program and may require the signing of appropriate waivers to allow regular compliance checks by Foundation staff.

Contact Us

If you know a lawyer in need, please contact the IBF for a confidential consultation or view and download the application at the link above.

Contact Us