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.

Shout Out

David Gotzh, Law Office of David Gotzh

CVLS would like to extend a special THANK YOU to our volunteer, David Gotzh, who recently has gone far beyond the call of duty in one of the most challenging minor guardianship cases CVLS has ever seen. David, an experienced family law attorney, calmly and expertly handled a bitterly contested matter, seeing his case through multiple appellate court proceedings, all while facing challenges and personal attacks that no pro bono attorney should have to experience. We cannot thank David enough for his expertise, patience, composure, and professionalism. Truly amazing job!

Goodbye Chloe

Chloe Sommers and her husband Ron

CVLS was lucky enough to have PILI intern, Chloe Sommers, work with us for both a summer and a fall session. She instantly fit in and quickly became a member of our family. Focusing mainly on family law and Child Representative cases, Chloe advocated tirelessly for her clients and proved herself to be a natural legal aid attorney. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law last month along with her husband, Ron, who received his M.D. They are now packing up and moving to Madison, Wisconsin so that Ron can start his residency. We are very proud of them both and wish them well with their next chapter in life. It will definitely be an exciting one. Congratulations Chloe and thank you very much for your hard work.

child representative training

New and Improved Child Representative Training

On April 24, 2018, CVLS will present a live, updated version of our Child Representative Training Seminar. Deputy Director Phil Mohr and Staff Attorney Rob Zielinski will help interested volunteer attorneys learn about and explore the world of serving as a Child Representative and Guardian ad Litem in the Cook County Domestic Relations Division. Following the three-hour training, volunteers will be prepared to take Child Rep cases on a pro bono basis through CVLS.

a pro bono star is born

A New Generation

Jonathan Adair, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP held their Pro Bono Reception on March 1st to honor their associates who have gone above and beyond in their pro bono work in the past year. CVLS Board Member, Jordan Heinz, metaphorically passed the torch on to Jonathan Adair who was given the Associate Pro Bono All-Stars award for his ongoing work with CVLS. Jordan formerly served on the CVLS Junior Board and Jonathan is a current Junior Board Member.

Court update

Court update - Local Rule 39

Starting March 1, lawyers filing electronically with the 1st District Appellate Court will have to submit six duplicate paper copies of briefs and appendices with the circuit clerk’s office within five days.

Local Rule 39 was entered on January 30 and is intended to be “temporary”.

Extremely execrable ex

Working Together to Ensure Safe Living Environments for Our Elderly Clients

Matthew Hulstein, CVLS Supervising Attorney, Access to Justice Program

Rob Zielinski, CVLS Staff Attorney, Child Rep Program

Archangel’s husband abandoned his family, drained their bank accounts, and stopped paying the mortgage. The lender wouldn’t talk to Archangel because the house and loan were in her husband’s name. They divorced and Archangel was awarded the house along with the mortgage. But, her ex refused to sign a deed and the lender still wouldn’t talk to her. Foreclosure loomed.

Mental Health Pro Bono Pilot Program to Launch

Every year, nearly one in five Americans will experience a mental health crisis or concern, and countless more will watch a loved one struggle with mental illness. Working to ensure access to appropriate care and services for someone with mental illness can be overwhelming. Friends and family often receive conflicting information and struggle to understand the medical, legal, and supportive services that are available, how they intersect, and how they can be accessed by or on behalf of a loved one.

Setting the Record Straight

Don't Mess with This Guardian Angel

Sebastien Angel, Schiff Hardin LLP

Disabled from two massive strokes, Patricia relies on her Section 8 voucher to keep her family safely housed. Last year, police pressured her landlord to evict her because they thought she was harboring criminals. The landlord complied, despite having no evidence of any crime. Then, because an eviction violates Section 8 rules, the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) moved to terminate her voucher. Although she did her best to defend herself at the HACC hearing, the Hearing Officer ruled against her.

e-filing Drama continues

Mandatory e-filing pushed to June 30, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has approved a six-month extension of mandatory e-filing in response to a petition from Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown. The petition was made due to information received by the Circuit Clerk’s office that the some central functions of the new Odyssey EFileIL system would not be ready for operation by January 1, the high court’s original deadline.