Better Business Bureau Report for
Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc.

Better Business Bureau Report issued March 2013
Better Business Bureau Report expires March 2015

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc.
Address: 100 North LaSalle Street, Suite 600
  Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-630-9744
Web Address:
Also known as:Chicago Lawyers' Committee
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1976, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: The mission of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee is to promote and protect civil rights, bringing the strength and the prestige of the private bar to bear on the problems of poverty and discrimination.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. does not meet the following 2 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. does not meet this standard because the most recent annual report did not include:

  • Total fund raising expenses.

Standard 17: Web Site Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. does not meet this Standard because the organization's website,, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

  • The organization’s mission statement.
  • A summary of program service accomplishments.
  • A roster of the board of directors.
  • Total income.
  • Total program expenses.
  • Total fund raising expenses.
  • Total administrative expenses.
  • End of year net assets.
  • The organization’s mailing address.
  • Electronic access to the organization’s most recent IRS Form 990.
In addition, the BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s governance and oversight, effectiveness measures, and donor privacy and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following 5Standards for Charity Accountability: 1, 3, 4, 7, and 18.
Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. meets the remaining 13 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. is the public interest law consortium of Chicago's leading law firms. Established in 1969, the Chicago Lawyers' Committee champions equal justice and community development for underrepresented people by partnering with our network of volunteer lawyers to provide free litigation and transactional representation to individuals on a variety of legal matters. They maintain a focus in a broad range of civil rights and economic justice matters, including: hate crime prevention and response; employment discrimination litigation; affordable housing development efforts, fair housing complaints and fair mortgage-lending advocacy and litigation; and support for a broad range of economic development activity in Chicago, including free legal services to individuals using small businesses/micro-enterprises as strategies to achieve self-sufficiency. They also offer projects that champion available, quality, affordable healthcare for all, equality in education opportunities and the disruption of the pipeline between low-performing schools and prison; criminal justice reform; voting rights; and support for a broad range of economic development activity in Northwest Indiana. The formation of the Committee was a response to the belief that the services of large law firms can be of great value in attacking the problems of poverty and discrimination. Their goal is to ensure that Chicago Lawyers' Committee clients receive the same high quality, aggressive representation afforded paying clients. Each year, over 18,000 hours of donated professional legal services, with a value of over $8.5 million are directed to challenge discrimination and other violations of civil rights in both the public and private sectors.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc.'s program expenses were:

The Law Project 492,613
Mortgage Discrimination and Fair Housing 437,648
Employment Opportunity Project 232,900
Other Programs 64,184
Total Program Expenses: $1,227,345
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Chief Executive : Jay S. Readey, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Max A. Stein
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Attorney

Board Size: 15

Paid Staff Size: 19

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet, membership
Fund raising costs were 21% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $986,661, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc.'s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Source of Funds  
government grants 429,829
Foundations and corporations 422,286
law firm memberships 313,600
attorney fees 104,959
special events,inclusing annual meetings 93,835
individual contributions 40,711
contractual services 39,600
application fees 33,326
miscellaneous 5,320
workshops 3,637
change in unrealized gains on investments 2,449
interest and dividends 1,609
direct expenses -32,882
Total Income $1,458,279


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 78%  Fund Raising: 13%  Administrative: 9% 

Total income $1,458,279
Program expenses $1,227,345
Fund raising expenses 209,266
Administrative expenses 147,211
Total expenses $1,583,822
Expenses in Excess of Income (125,543)
Beginning net assets 603,457
Other Changes in Net Assets 147,211
Ending net assets 625,125
Total liabilities 845,518
Total assets $1,470,643

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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