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 17,000 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:
  • 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.
  • To cultivate social relationships among its members.
  • 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 25. Our Board of Managers consists of 16 members selected by the membership, a representative from the Young Lawyers Section (“YLS”), the YLS Chair of two years prior, one member-at-large appointed by the President, and 6 Officers including the President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President. The Board meets monthly 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.

About 321 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago, IL

The CBA is housed in a 16-story condominium building co-owned by the Association, University of Illinois Chicago, Peck Ritchey LLC, The Chicago Bar Foundation and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois. 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.
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 and Foundation, and the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.