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A Bridge Forward LLC works with individuals tired of being stigmatized and stymied by their criminal history.

Ina R. Silvergleid, a former employment law attorney, founded A Bridge Forward after volunteering several years at an expungement help desk in suburban Cook County.

During that time, which happened not long after the 2008 collapse of the U.S. economy, many people lost their jobs. Suddenly, having a criminal background was a grave impediment to finding work. Many of these individuals showed up at the help desk, entirely shocked by the scrutiny their old arrests and convictions were getting.

With her background in employment law and criminal records relief, Ina saw a need for someone with her unique legal skill set to offer affordable legal services to those facing obstacles to employment, professional or occupational licensing, college enrollment, or housing, due to an arrest or conviction record.

In recent years, Ina has used her printmaking skills to explore and comment on the flaws in our criminal justice system and how some people are more likely than others to get sucked into that system. A Bridge Forward invites you to take a look at the artwork.

Ina is a 1990 graduate of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she graduated Order of Coif. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to her work at A Bridge Forward, Ms. Silvergleid still finds time to volunteer at the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy and Center on Halsted.

Ina R. Silvergleid,   founder  of A Bridge Forward

Ina R. Silvergleid, founder of A Bridge Forward


Office & Hours


Mon - Fri | 9a - 6:30p

Sat | by appt 


Contact Info

1123 Emerson St, Ste 209
Evanston, IL 60201

(847) 804-0157




A Bridge Forward Services



Ina tirelessly advocates for her clients, mining their personal stories to better understand why they came to be arrested or convicted. She also takes great pains to ensure that clients understand what legal remedies are being employed and why. Ina is the first to admit that helping people overcome criminal record barriers sometimes means wearing multiple hats - all at the same time. Most of the time, Ina wears her attorney hat. At other times, Ina can be found wearing a career counselor, job finder, therapist, or friend hat. Ina tells clients that her role as legal advocate does not include judging them for their past mistakes. 

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Due to the increasingly complicated patchwork of laws companies must navigate if they want to background check job candidates and employees,

A Bridge Forward also consults with employers on:

1) how and when criminal background queries should be made without running afoul of federal, state, or local laws;
2) assistance in deciphering criminal background reports; and
3) drafting procedures to assess a job candidate's qualifications after discovering that someone has a criminal record.

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A Bridge Forward believes in the importance of educating people who have a criminal background on the various ways in which they can clear their background.

To that end, A Bridge Forward welcomes any invitations to speak to academic, governmental, civic, and social service organizations about the importance of clearing one’s record.

It is imperative to the mission of A Bridge Forward that individuals know that, in most cases, they need not have to spend the rest of their lives being tagged a criminal or a convicted felon.

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