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.

SIMPLE CASE TURNS COMPLEX

CVLS Volunteer Rises to the Challenge

Jennifer Weed, CVLS Volunteer Attorney and Guardian ad Litem

Lekisha came to CVLS’ Jane Addams Clinic because her landlord refused to return a security deposit. She had signed a standard lease, given a deposit of $1,100, and took meticulous care of her apartment with pictures to prove it. Lekisha had been out of her apartment for 30 days when she asked her landlord to return the security deposit. Her landlord refused and that’s when Lekisha contacted CVLS. Long-time volunteer and Clinic Chair, Jennifer Weed, was assigned to her case.

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

High School Volunteer Helps Exterminate a Major Problem for One of Our Families

Yudith G, Crysto Rey Jesuit High School Volunteer

CVLS is lucky to have volunteers from all walks of life and with all levels of experience. One such volunteer is Yudith, a high school freshman who volunteers for us through Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP). Cristo Rey Jesuit High School “provid[es] a Catholic, college preparatory education and professional work experience to students from Spanish speaking families with limited financial means.” Cristo Rey is able to do this because their students, like Yudith, spend five full days a month working at local firms and offices in entry-level positions that fund close to 70% of their education costs. While Yudith is at CVLS’s main office, she is able to aid staff and volunteers with a variety of tasks ranging from administrative errands to Spanish language translation and interpretation.

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.

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