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.

REPEAT SUCCESS

CVLS Supports a Family Not Once, But Twice

On occasion, CVLS is called upon to assist a family who has worked with the organization previously. This provides an opportunity to see the impact of CVLS’ work over a long period of time while helping a family face their current challenge. Candace is a 19 year-old young woman who has been diagnosed with autism and epilepsy. Candace relies heavily on the attention and assistance of her mother, Ronda, to meet her day-to-day needs. Ronda also cares for Candace’s older brother DeShawn. Several years ago CVLS was appointed GAL when Ronda filed and successfully obtained guardianship of DeShawn. CVLS was again appointed as GAL when Ronda asked to become Candace’s guardian, and Seyfarth Shaw Attorney, Kimberly Schwegel, took the case.

PUNISHING POVERTY

PILI Fellow Settles a Debt

Heidi Hockberger, PILI Fellow
Kirkland & Ellis LLP

John was able to pay his debts, until he was in a car accident in 2012. He was found at fault and ended up owing $21,000 to the other driver’s insurance company. When he couldn’t pay the judgment, his license was suspended, which seriously limited his employment options.

RACE JUDICATA® 2017 AN INCREDIBLE SUCCESS

Chicago Comes out to Make It a Record Breaking Year

On September 15, Chicago came together to make Race Judicata® 2017 a huge success. Almost 5,400 registered participants, 250 law firms and legal organizations, and hundreds more partygoers showed their support for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and continued this city’s long history of civic philanthropy through volunteerism. This event perfectly spotlighted the best this city has to offer and we look forward to another 24 years of celebrating pro bono with all of you.

NEW BLOOD

CVLS Welcomes Our New Child Rep Coordinator

Marlyse Vieira, CVLS Child Rep Coordinator

CVLS would like to introduce our new Child Representative Coordinator, Marlyse Vieira! Marlyse graduated from Princeton University this June with a degree in Politics and a minor in Spanish. She joins CVLS as part of the Princeton AlumniCorps P55 Fellowship Program, which facilitates the placement of recent graduates in civic service positions. Marlyse plans to attend law school after her time at CVLS, with hopes of pursuing a career in public interest law.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pages