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.

Staff Spotlight: No Child Left Behind: Miriam Araya Helps All Children Have a Voice

When families face legal issues children are the ones most negatively affected, and this is especially true for those in low-income families. Enter CVLS’ Child Rep Program! Through this venture, CVLS works to connect pro bono attorneys to children in need of representation. Integral to this process is Child Rep Coordinator, Miriam Araya.

Case Note: Carolyn

In 2009, Carolyn and her husband divorced. Her ex-husband was the sole owner of the property and the sole borrower under the mortgage loan. As part of the divorce, he quitclaimed the property to Carolyn, but remained on the mortgage.

Standout Volunteers Honored at Law & Disorder

Each year at Law & Disorder CVLS honors the volunteers who make our good work possible. Our volunteers spend nights and weekends working with clients and they take time out of their busy workday to help someone who cannot afford a lawyer obtain access to justice. Every year thousands of attorneys help low income Chicagoans resolve their legal problems, for free, because they believe it is the right thing to do.

Volunteer wins DePaul Pro Bono Award!

Longtime CVLS volunteer Joe Pieper won the 2017 DePaul University College of Law Pro Bono Alumni Award. Joe has worked with CVLS for more than 20 years, taking on countless Guardian ad litem cases in addition to accepting appointments directly from Cook County Probate Judges. Joe’s willingness to help CVLS and our clients extends to  taking contested, complex cases and last-minute GAL appointments. An asset to CVLS and his clients, it’s common to see Joe, with kindness and patience, helping a pro se client fill in a complicated form in the hallway on the 18th floor of the Daley Center.

Rebekah, Milton & Yeny

Milton and Yeny enjoyed a nice life in Guatemala City until Milton witnessed a gang execution on his way home from work. He didn’t want to be a witness. He was caught in the middle of the street as a group of men harassed a 15-year-old boy. Suddenly, before Milton could turn around, one man pulled out a gun and shot the boy in the head. Milton recognized the man as the leader of a feared gang. That man and a few of his followers ran up to Milton and threatened to kill him too. They let him go with a warning. “You didn’t see anything.”

Cherrish and CVLS

With her low and sporadic income, Cherrish relied on her housing subsidy to provide a safe home for herself and her three children. That security was threatened when, in 2012, the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) notified her it was terminating her voucher because she failed to report income. Cherrish had always reported her income adjustments, but the HACC never followed up on them.

Case Notes: Omar & Alfonso

59-year-old Alfonso has an intellectual disability and functions at the level of about a 5-year-old. For the first 57 years of his life, Alfonso’s mother was an attentive and careful caregiver. When she passed away two years ago, he remained in the home he shared with her for his entire life. Alfonso’s four adult siblings took turns staying at the house with him, making sure that he was safe and that his basic needs were met. However, the siblings were unable to financially maintain their mother’s home and the bank foreclosed on the property.

Case notes: Marla, Riccardo and Peter:

Last January, Marla’s tenant called her and said water was gushing out of a wall and running all over the apartment. Marla rushed to the apartment and learned that the pipes had frozen. She got to work fixing the plumbing and repairing the property, while the tenant moved into a motel. While the tenant was away, the apartment was broken into and vandalized. Marla decided to secure the apartment, but was sued by the tenant for an illegal lockout

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