The Community Law Project helps to build, strengthen, and
support community-based organizations that are focused on economic development
in Chicago’s low-income neighborhoods and that offer the delivery of social services
to residents of these areas. We bring hope to impoverished neighborhoods by
supporting small businesses and home ownership. Working with volunteers from
Chicago’s top law firms, the Community Law Project's expert legal staff
provides nonprofit leaders and small businesses owners the knowledge to sustain
the quality of their programs, improve outcomes, and spur economic development.
We recognize that structural racism is a major contributor toward economic
injustice; we work to eradicate racism and end poverty in our city and
coordinate our activities in close working relationship with our community
- Providing transactional
legal assistance to create, build the capacity of, stabilize, and foster
growth of nonprofit organizations focused on economic development and
social services in low-income communities.
- Providing legal
assistance to help low and moderate-income entrepreneurs grow and
strengthen their small businesses, which in turn strengthens low-income
communities, improves their financial stability, and brings in much-needed
goods and services.
- Providing legal support
to coalitions of non-profit organizations in negotiations with developers
to secure benefits for surrounding communities. Community benefits
agreements (CBAs) may include commitments to build affordable housing,
hire local residents and pay livable wages, among other investments
important to Chicago neighborhoods and their residents.
- Implementing community
lawyering through all our programs—that is, working with our clients and
communities at the grassroots level, attending community meetings,
providing strategic feedback and advice to coalitions, helping to
coordinate community input, and to negotiate or mediate constructively
among multiple community stakeholders, when development threatens to