CBA YLS Racial Justice Coalition

The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Section unequivocally stands against racial discrimination and police brutality. We also reaffirm our commitment to serving as a voice and as an instrument of change in our communities and beyond. In solidarity with everyone who has felt--and continues to feel--the frustrations of ongoing systemic and institutional racism, we establish the CBA YLS Racial Justice Coalition. As attorneys and leaders in the legal profession, we have a duty to unite and use our resources and power to promote unity and progress. Together, we are stronger.

Mission Statement

The CBA YLS Racial Justice Coalition was formed for the purpose of collaborating with leading forces in the Chicagoland legal community to take action against racial injustice in the following ways:
The Coalition will collaborate with other bar associations to identify and facilitate pro bono and community service opportunities that focus on combating racial disparities, addressing the concerns of minority groups, and building a bridge between the legal community and the clients that we serve.
Community Engagement
The Coalition will build and maintain relationships with community organizations and local government leaders that seek to promote social justice, uplift historically underprivileged voices, and impact collective action and legislation supporting the eradication of systemic racism.
The Coalition will encourage all bar associations to collaborate with us in providing training, seminars, speaker series, and workshops dedicated to understanding and championing diversity and inclusion throughout our profession and within our communities.

Upcoming CLE Seminars and Events  

  • Common Immigration Concerns in Criminal Cases (10/22/21 from 2-1pm: Click here to register!)
    Criminal cases can have a deep and profound impact on our communities. It is critical for communities, especially communities of color, and attorneys who serve them to understand the potential immigration challenges that may arise when fighting a criminal case. The CBA Criminal Law Committee and the Racial Justice Coalition of CBA's Young Lawyers Section present speakers Diana Rashid and David Faherty of the National Immigrant Justice Center to discuss common immigration consequences and concerns for criminal defense practitioners and those interested in the intersection between the criminal justice system and immigration process.

  • Illinois’ Consent Misnomer: Litigating Racial Reality (10/28/21 from 2-3:30pm: Click here to register)

    Illinois courts have perpetuated a boiler-plate misnomer—so called “consent”—to allow law enforcement to intimidate people into consenting to groundless searches without a warrant. This event will be a one-on-one discussion between a current criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. The discussion will untangle several problematic threads interwoven throughout Illinois’ consent law and their racial and practical implications during motions to quash arrest and suppress evidence. Ultimately, the discussion will explore how practitioners can draw upon their clients’ racial realities to litigate their cases vigorously.  

    SPEAKERS: Jesse Guth, Cart & Guth Law, LLC: Jesse is a former prosecutor who now practices criminal defense. Nicholas Flores, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Labor: Nick is a former prosecutor and currently practices labor law. 

Past CLE Seminars and Events


CBA TV Interview: Introduction to the Racial Justice Coalition

Black History Month: Interview with Nyshana Sumner, President of the Cook County Bar Association

Black History Month: Interview with Mike Wilder, Chairman of the Black Men Lawyers' Association

Black History Month: Interview with CK Hoffler, President of the National Bar Association

Black History Month: Interview with Kenyatta Beverly, President of the Black Women Lawyers' Association

Coalition Members

The following bar associations and legal advocacy organizations who have joined the Coalition include:

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
  • Appellate Lawyers Association (ALA)
  • Arab American Bar Association of Illinois (AABAR)
  • Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago (AABA)
  • Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc. (BWLA)
  • Catholic Lawyers Guild
  • Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
  • Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women
  • Chicago Bar Association’s Lawyers In the Classroom Program
  • Chicago Women in IP (ChiWIP)
  • Chinese American Bar Association (CABA)
  • Cook County Bar Association
  • Decalogue Society of Lawyers
  • Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI)
  • Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
  • Illinois Association of Defense Counsel (IDC)
  • Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (IL ARDC)
  • Illinois State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ISBA-YLD)
  • Illinois State Bar Association Standing Committee on Racial & Ethnic Minorities and the Law
  • Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (2Civility)
  • Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC)
  • Justinian Society of Lawyers (Justinians)
  • Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC)
  • National Lawyers Guild (NLG)
  • North Suburban Bar Association (NSBA)
  • Serbian Bar Association
  • South Asian Bar Association (SABA)
  • South Suburban Bar Association (SSBA)
  • Southwest Bar Association (SWBA)
  • UIC John Marshall SBA
  • Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI)
  • Women’s Criminal Defense Bar Association (WCDBA)

RJC in the News

Get Involved

To get involved or with inquiries, please contact