News

News

With 50 years of experience providing high quality, free legal services to low-income Chicagoans, CVLS and its volunteers are often recognized for their outstanding work.

JEP Now Recruiting

The Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) is now searching for its tenth cohort of talented and entrepreneurial lawyers in the Chicago area. Over the course of 18 months, the JEP prepares participants to start, grow, and sustain innovative, socially conscious, and successful law practices that serve regular folks throughout Chicagoland. Information sessions will be held at the JEP offices at 208 S. Jefferson, Suite 204, on Monday, August 28, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. and Friday, September 1, 2017, at 12:15 p.m. Links to register for a session or to apply are live on www.jepchicago.org. Please apply no later than Friday, September 8, 2017 to be considered for the November 2017 JEP cohort.

The Closer

CVLS Volunteer Tackles Real Estate Closing Completely Pro Bono!

Lauren Sanuw, Sanuw Law Office, P.C.

Many of our clients face more than one legal problem. In fact, more than half (54%) of low-income households face at least two civil legal problems each year. One in four (24%) has faced six or more legal problems in the past year alone.

Fishing for a Deal

The Sun Dries Out Underwater Mortgage

Gabriel Borges, CVLS Staff Attorney

Mr. and Mrs. C. were determined to save their home from foreclosure despite the fact that it was seriously underwater. They’d applied for a loan modification several times but were always denied because of insufficient documentation. It didn’t help that they did not speak English. Finally, the judge in their foreclosure case put them into the Cook County Foreclosure Mediation Program where, ultimately, they were lucky enough to get CVLS staff attorney Gabriel Borges. Working with Gabe, the clients applied to the SUN Initiative, which purchases underwater property as a short sale, then loans the homeowner money to purchase the property back from SUN at a price above its appraised value. When it works, the remaining balance owed to the bank from the short sale is forgiven and the homeowner keeps his home.

Hel.LAS

Greek Legal Clinic Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Hel.LAS volunteers pose at their 1 year anniversary celebration

Realizing that there were countless members of their community with limited financial resources and a need for legal assistance, the Hellenic Foundation’s (HF) Executive Director Peter Valessares and Hellenic Bar Association (HBA) Chairman Eleni Kouimelis decided to do something. They contacted CVLS Junior Board member Eleni Katsoulis and together they worked on a solution. On May 13, 2016 the Hel.LAS legal clinic, a partnership between the HBA, HF and CVLS, was born.

LSC Update

Latest Report Highlights the Justice Gap in 2017

In 1974 Congress had a vision of equal access to justice and strived to bring it into reality. That same year the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was created and has since served as the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans. In 2005, 2009 and now in 2017 the LSC released a report to update the public on the justice gap, defined as the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs.

Foreclosure News

Judge Issues Order Prohibiting Language

Attention all volunteers handling foreclosure cases: Presiding Judge Moshe Jacobius has issued General Administrative Order 2014-04 which addresses certain language that is prohibited in a judgment of foreclosure and sale. If you currently have a foreclosure case with us, or plan on taking one in the future, we highly recommend you familiarize yourself with this document.

J.M.'s Story

Tales of a Child Representative

Lindsay Weinberg, Adoption Specialist at Adoption Center of Illinois Family Resource Center

In Cook County, if two parents cannot agree on how to parent their child, the Court can appoint an attorney to advocate for that child’s best interests – a Child Representative. The judge appointed CVLS volunteer Lindsay Weinberg for Jeremiah.

Cherrish Update

In late March, CVLS won an appeal that restored our client Cherrish Tolliver’s rental subsidy. The Housing Authority of Cook County had terminated the subsidy after a series of administrative hearings, accusing Cherrish of not timely reporting her income. The Appellate Court vacated the termination, finding the HACC, in not following its own procedures and rules, had failed to properly administer its program and violated our client’s process rights. CVLS reported this wonderful result in our last newsletter.

Searching for Ley'Gacy

One volunteer's career begins with a manhunt

Ajay N. Sundar, Associate at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP

At Skadden Arps, lawyers are free to take on pro bono assignments as though they were billable assignments. The fall months were slow, and my hours didn’t start counting until January. “You should take a GAL case,” my girlfriend suggested one November evening. Ingrid was right. CVLS’ GAL program was just about the only pro bono work that got me excited. There was something different about being a Guardian Ad Litem. Something real.

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