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About the CBA

Founded in 1874, The Chicago Bar Association is one of the oldest and most active metropolitan bar associations in the United States. The Association's voluntary membership of 22,000 consists largely of lawyers and judges from Cook County and the State of Illinois. However, we do have a growing out-of-state membership of lawyers who want to take advantage of the Association's many membership services and benefits.


The purposes and objectives of the Association are:

  1. To establish and maintain the honor and dignity of the profession of the law and to promote the general welfare of the members thereof, particularly by sponsoring and supporting continuing legal education programs covering new developments in all fields of law.
  2. To cultivate social relationships among its members.
  3. To increase the usefulness of the legal profession in promoting the due administration of justice and the public good.


In furtherance of these purposes, the Association has adopted the following mission statements:

  • Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the administration of justice in Chicago, the State of Illinois and the Nation.

  • Increase members' effectiveness and efficiency in the practice of law.

  • Assure the availability of quality legal services to all persons at an affordable cost.

  • Ensure that bench and bar adhere to acceptable professional and ethical standards

  • Improve public understanding of the functions and importance of our legal and constitutional system and encourage respect.

  • Build a better body of statutory and regulatory jurisprudence.

  • Increase public understanding and respect for the legal profession.

  • Develop feasible programs to encourage a bar more reflective of the racial and ethnic diversity of the Chicago metropolitan area.

  • Provide programs, facilities and services to satisfy the needs of its members in their practice and to promote an atmosphere of collegiality all in and of the foregoing missions.

  • The CBA employs an Executive Director who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Association staff of 60. Our Board of Managers consists of 16 members elected by the membership and 6 Officers including the President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President. The Board meets twice a month and decides all policy issues for the Association. The Association's operating budget of approximately $7 million comes from member dues, continuing legal education seminars and other revenue sources.

  • The CBA is housed in a 16-story condominium building co-owned by the Association and The John Marshall Law School. The CBA building was designed by world-renowned architects Stanley Tigerman and Margaret McCurry and developed in 1990 by Chicago developers Lee Miglin and J. Paul Bietler. The CBA building has been featured in architectural magazines and is located in Chicago's South Loop at 321 S. Plymouth Court.

 


Features of this unique bar association building include

  • A beautiful interior lobby and rotunda with a reception area and a wood-burning fireplace.

  • A grand staircase leading from the first floor to the Association's elegant second floor, housing two large conference, meeting and dining rooms - Corboy Hall and the Winston & Strawn Presidents' Room.

  • 20 modern committee-meeting rooms on three floors equipped with audio-visual capabilities and servers to provide breakfast, lunch or dinner.

  • A rear lobby bookstore offering over 1,000 legal publications from the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Martindale-Hubbell, Michie, NITA and many more educational publications.

  • Offices for the following legal and judicial associations:
    • The Women's Bar Association of Illinois
    • The Black Women's Lawyer Association of Illinois
    • The Illinois Judges Association

  • Access to The John Marshall Law School Library consisting of over 300,000 volumes