Blog Archive


Clara Kent posted a blog on Jul 25, 2012

Faulty Criminal Background Check Case Appears In New York Times

In 2011, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, with the Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym law firm, filed a lawsuit challenging a criminal background check report prepared by a company named Infotrack.  Our client was a young white man who had no history of any felony conviction.  The Infotrack company, however, issued a criminal background check report matching him with three African-American sex offenders, including one who committed rape when our client was only three years old.  The lawsuit, brought pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) alleged that Infotrack had been grossly negligent.  The case was settled soon after it was filed.
In a July 25, 2012 editorial, the New York Times referred to the facts of the Infotrack case as an egregious example of errors made in criminal background check reports, and the need for regulation of the companies who prepare these reports.  It has become common for companies engaged in hiring to use criminal background check reports to screen applicants.   For people seeking employment, it is crucial that they not be falsely labeled as someone who has a criminal record.

The editorial is available here.

Chris Furuya posted a blog on Jul 17, 2012

Save the Date: Goods for the Good

Save the Date for TLP’s Annual Fundraiser

Tuesday, November 13, 2012  -  5:30pm-7:30pm

The Newberry Library  -  60 W. Walton St. – Chicago, IL  60610
directions/parking info

Start the holiday season right with an evening of good food, great company, and fabulous local shopping! Celebrating our volunteers' and clients' good work, TLP's Goods for the Good will feature a holiday bazaar showcasing products made by our clients, as well as other nonprofits with social enterprises and small businesses.


Chris Furuya posted a blog on Jul 12, 2012

Kirkland and Ellis Receive Pro Bono Award 2012

The Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law awarded Kirkland its 2012 Pro Bono Award.  The award recognized the exemplary work Kirkland's attorneys have provided for numerous cases for the committee. [Source]

Clara Kent posted a blog on Jun 6, 2012

Metropolitan Attachment Programme Brunch Welcomes Poon Yat Long Timothy to the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee


The Metropolitan Attachment Programme of Hong Kong Baptist University honored 29 students on the June 6 at a tea reception, welcoming them to Chicago to participate in a summer internship program. The Metropolitan Attachment Programme provides students with both global exposure and experience in a variety of work fields.
In 2012, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee is hosting Poon Yat Long Timothy as a Civil Rights Intern. Timothy will be working in the Executive Office for Special Projects. Timothy’s main task during his internship will be to research and write on assigned topics that would supplement the legal database of the committee. He will also follow some staff members around the city to attend their day-to-day work.
Timothy is interested in the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee because he hopes to apply for law school upon graduation. The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee offers him a unique opportunity to immerse himself in the legal field by being involved in a large variety of projects. Timothy has already observed a federal court proceeding for The Education Equity Project, attended an outreach summit for The Law Project, and audited an open meeting that discussed the human rights movement to end mass incarceration in the United States. Meanwhile, he has also worked on many research projects, guided by senior staff at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee but ultimately driven with entrepreneurship. This gave him the opportunity to read through many legal materials, and to learn more about the discourse and mind frame of a lawyer.
The opportunity is also useful because it is deliberately structured on tiers of legal education, introducing undergraduates to law school students, law school students to recent JDs, recent JDs to established attorneys and established attorneys to project directors. Timothy has the opportunity to talk to lawyers at every step of their careers, and learn both the process of becoming a lawyer and the reasons why different people choose to become lawyers.
Exposure to the legal field is important to Timothy. “A legal profession is one of the few where a single person may get a chance to do something that impacts every person,” he said. “A lawyer is able to make a person feel intrinsically safe, knowing that he or she is not being violated in any way, and can be fully-committed to other aspects of life. I agree with this statement more so after working in CLC for a while: the staff here are very committed to serving the public, which made me reflect on my own motivation to become a lawyer. Apart from the spiritual fulfillment gained by exploring the lively Chicago in the weekends, including city touring in spots such as The Chicago Board of Trade Building and The City Hall, I also hope to learn more about how I can make a difference in my home country with the skills, knowledge and ethics CLC instilled into me.”
Chris Furuya posted a blog on May 31, 2012

Register Now for our Annual Meeting 2012!


The Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law invites you to our 43rd Annual Meeting, to be held at Palmer House Hilton on Thursday, July 12, 2012 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.


To purchase tickets, click here.


This event is sponsored by






Clara Kent posted a blog on May 29, 2012

CLC Board Member Named as 2012 Super Lawyer

CLC Board Member Alejandro Caffarelli of Caffarelli & Siegel, together with other named partner Marc J. Siegel, have been awarded Illinois Super Lawyers for 2012. Super Lawyers selects its attorneys from more than 70 practice areas, through a multiphase process involving peer recognition and professional achievement. Intended to aid attorneys and consumers, Super Lawyers is well known for presenting a credible, comprehensive, and diverse body of selected professionals. Each year, only 5 percent of all state attorneys are named to Super Lawyers.

Full story available here:

Marissa Liebling posted a blog on May 23, 2012

CLC files amicus brief challenging Citizens United

The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee filed an amici curiae brief in the American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock case. Our amici brief was spearheaded by the Campaign Legal Center and joined by other local and national organizations. The plaintiffs in the case are challenging a Montana Supreme Court ruling that upheld a state ban on corporate independent political expenditures after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on such expenditures in Citizens United. Plaintiffs have asked the Supreme Court to summarily overturn the Montana Supreme Court decision. Our amici brief focuses on three primary arguments: 1) undisclosed money gives rise to corruption and the appearance of corruption; 2) these corporate expenditures deny shareholders and citizens the information needed to hold both corporations and elected officials accountable and to make informed decisions in the voting booth; and 3) even when data is disclosed, the disclosure is not timely or accessible enough to enable the electorate to make informed decisions on election day. Our amici brief asks the Supreme Court to deny certiorari or, if certiorari is granted, grant plenary review and reverse the holding of Citizens United.

This case has important implications for campaign finance reform and provides an opportunity for the Supreme Court to revisit Citizens United.  As such, the case and our brief have garnered media attention. Last week, SCOTUS Blog’s Lyle Denniston wrote a piece about the case, choosing our brief for the first quote. The blog is available here. Our brief was also highlighted in a New York Times article, available here.

Chris Furuya posted a blog on May 11, 2012

CLC's Betsy Shuman-Moore Describes Fair Housing Act's Far Reach

From the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Clara Kent posted a blog on May 8, 2012

Discrimination laws must apply to all employers, including state government: Message to State Appellate Court

Chicago – The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, joined by the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is asking a state appellate court to reject a claim advanced by the Illinois Attorney General that the State of Illinois cannot be sued in circuit court for employment discrimination. The ACLU position is contained in an amicus curiae brief filed in two cases pending before the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth Judicial District, located in Central Illinois. The cases before the court are Robert D. Lynch v. Illinois Department of Transportation and Timothy L. Storm v. Illinois State Police. The organizations were assisted in preparing the brief by Louis A. Klapp of the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Full article available here:

Chris Furuya posted a blog on May 2, 2012

EEOC Updated Guidance on the Use of Criminal Records by Employers