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.

CVLS is Family: Helen & Joshua Sigman


CVLS is such a tight-knit community of friends, volunteers, staff and supporters, we like to call the organization a family. But some members of our community are even closer than that – they are literally family! In our “CVLS is Family” series, we’ll talk to a few family members about their connections with CVLS and the Chicago legal community.

After 9 Years, AILA Clinic Volunteer Rich's Client Is A US Citizen

It took more than 9 years, but finally, F became a US citizen.   

F, a 49-year-old woman originally from Pakistan, has been living in the U.S. for more than 20 years as a lawful permanent resident.  Seven years after she first applied for U.S. citizenship in 2007, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security denied her application due to alleged inconsistencies in her personal history and testimony, specifically her marital status.

Immigration Win!

Julia had been fighting to get a green card for nearly 20 years when she came to CVLS’ American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Immigration Legal Clinic and met Nicole Minnis. Nicole, who had been sworn in as an attorney that week, had never had a case, pro bono or otherwise. Interested in gaining immigration experience, she came to the AILA clinic where chair Matt Kriezelman guided her through Julia’s intake interview. 

Clinic Spotlight: Drinker Biddle & Reath / Erie Community Center

In a church basement once a month on Sundays, then a Drinker Biddle & Reath summer associate, Katherine Miler received her first exposure to a clinic she now oversees. Now an associate in the firm’s Health Care Practice Group, and the chair of CVLS’ Drinker Biddle / Erie Community Center Legal Clinic, Katie witnessed and helped implement the clinic’s evolution.