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2021 Illinois Diversity Survey - Governing Board

Background Information for Governing Board Members of Legal Aid Organizations

  • There is an overwhelming consensus that demographic diversity is important in the legal aid system, both as a matter of fairness and to ensure effective services for a diverse population of potential clients.
  • There is currently no statewide data on available on diversity of the governing boards and staffs of the organizations that make up the legal aid system in Illinois. The Illinois Legal Aid Diversity Survey will capture this data and make it available for the first time in 2021. Future iterations of the survey will collect and report this data on an annual basis.
  • The diversity survey is being sponsored by the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois as part of a larger strategic effort to promote diversity in hiring, retention, and promotion. This effort is led by a Diversity & Inclusion Working Group, which is made up of representatives of legal aid programs throughout the state. (See list below.)
  • The survey was designed with input from, and is being administered by, Nextions LLC, a consulting firm focused on diversity, inclusion, change management, and leadership.
  • Boards of directors of legal aid organizations play a critical role in promoting diversity within their organizations, through actions such as hiring the chief executive officer, strategic planning, policy setting, and providing oversight. Consequently, understanding the demographic diversity of organizations’ boards of directors offers critical data points in the broader effort to understand and encourage diversity in the legal aid system.
  • By providing data to your organization that will be used to complete the survey, you are helping to ensure that we have accurate, comprehensive data on the diversity that currently exists in the Illinois legal aid system. This information is critical to future efforts to promote and measure diversity within the legal aid system.
  • The information you provide to your organization as part of its data-collection effort will be treated confidentially and will not be shared with any third-party entity. Your information will be combined with that of other members of the PILI Board of Directors to be reported in the aggregate as part of the diversity survey.
  • While your participation is important, you should only answer questions that you are comfortable answering. If you are uncomfortable providing certain types of information, you can either skip the question or select “prefer not to disclose,” which is available as an option for each question. You also have the option of providing your information anonymously.
  • It is the goal to have a 100% response rate from our Board of Directors. Please still complete the survey even if you choose to answer every question with "prefer not to disclose." Given the importance of the survey and the fact that it can be anonymous, you will receive follow up emails reminding you of the survey until we have achieved a 100% response rate.
  • The underlying goal of the survey is to support legal aid organizations and a legal aid system in which differences are recognized and valued. While some questions may make certain people uncomfortable, others might be offended by the idea of not being allowed to share aspects of their identity and have it recognized and accepted. The Lawyers Trust Fund and the Diversity & Inclusion Working Group have tried to design the survey in a way that strikes a balance between these goals.
  • Please contact Michael by email or at 312-832-5129 with any questions.

Please complete and submit the survey below by Friday, February 12th, 2021 

You are being asked to complete this survey as part of an effort by the Illinois Legal Aid Diversity & Inclusion Working Group and the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois to measure demographic diversity within the Illinois legal aid community.

Please answer all of the following questions that you are comfortable answering, noting that for most questions there is an option to select “Prefer Not to Disclose.” You also have the option of completing the survey anonymously. If you prefer to do so you may leave Question 1 blank or type in “Anonymous.”

The information reported on this form will be aggregated and anonymized by PILI before being used to complete an organizational survey to be administered by the consulting firm Nextions LLC.

Be sure to click "Submit" after completing the survey. Thank you for your assistance!

LTF Legal Aid Diversity & Inclusion Working Group 

Reena Bajowala, Co-Chair
Ice Miller 

Kenya Burnett, Co-Chair
Legal Council for Health Justice

Shannon Bartlett
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Dowin Coffy
Land of Lincoln Legal Aid

Andrea DeTellis
Prairie State Legal Services

Mona Elgindy
Prairie State Legal Services

Elisabeth Hiebler
Center for Disability & Elder Law

Jessica Hodierne
Prairie State Legal Services

Sarah Holibaugh
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services

Angela Inzano
The Chicago Bar Foundation

Brandy Johnson
Early & Miranda, PC

Miguel Keberlein
Legal Aid Society

Brent Page
Public Interest Law Initiative

Mary Rosenberg
Access Living

Adam Salzman
Greater Chicago Legal Clinic

Ruby Smith
Legal Aid Chicago

Andrew Weaver
Land of Lincoln Legal Aid