“Intake and Receptionist” barely scratches the surface of Norma Perez’s role at CVLS.
As the Keeper of the Front Desk, Norma answers the constantly ringing phones, handles walk-in clients, determines whether potential clients qualify for CVLS’ services and schedules them at one of our clinics or for an in-house interview, makes herself available for any and all staff, volunteer and client needs, serves as a Spanish language interpreter and schedules a rotating calendar of interns, students, volunteers and legal clinics – all with a smile on her face, and candy at her desk.
So how does Norma, a two-and-a-half year veteran of CVLS, juggle all her responsibilities to, in her own words, “take things at CVLS from ordinary to extraordinary”? She says with a lot of patience, and by learning new things little by little, so that, “all of a sudden, you’re just good at it.”
She enjoyed her previous jobs in the legal field, but loves working at CVLS because of the opportunity to make a difference, or in her words, because “it feels really good to help someone who is in true need.” Norma also says the warmth of the staff and office environment keeps her coming in every day. So does the accomplishment she feels from working hard for a cause she believes in.
For instance, Norma recently interpreted for a Spanish-speaking client in an adult GAL case. She translated documents and interpreted at all meetings and in court. Norma participated throughout the entire case.
Norma is often the first person clients talk to at CVLS. While they don’t have the pleasure of her “Friday Humor” emails or cheer on the White Sox with her, it’s easy to see how they get the same impression of her that CVLS staff and volunteers do – that she is a talented, friendly, hard-working person who will do whatever she can to help.