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.

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.

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.

Cherrish Update

In late March, CVLS won an appeal that restored our client Cherrish Tolliver’s rental subsidy. The Housing Authority of Cook County had terminated the subsidy after a series of administrative hearings, accusing Cherrish of not timely reporting her income. The Appellate Court vacated the termination, finding the HACC, in not following its own procedures and rules, had failed to properly administer its program and violated our client’s process rights. CVLS reported this wonderful result in our last newsletter.

J.M.'s Story

Tales of a Child Representative

Lindsay Weinberg, Adoption Specialist at Adoption Center of Illinois Family Resource Center

In Cook County, if two parents cannot agree on how to parent their child, the Court can appoint an attorney to advocate for that child’s best interests – a Child Representative. The judge appointed CVLS volunteer Lindsay Weinberg for Jeremiah.

Foreclosure News

Judge Issues Order Prohibiting Language

Attention all volunteers handling foreclosure cases: Presiding Judge Moshe Jacobius has issued General Administrative Order 2014-04 which addresses certain language that is prohibited in a judgment of foreclosure and sale. If you currently have a foreclosure case with us, or plan on taking one in the future, we highly recommend you familiarize yourself with this document.

LSC Update

Latest Report Highlights the Justice Gap in 2017

In 1974 Congress had a vision of equal access to justice and strived to bring it into reality. That same year the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was created and has since served as the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans. In 2005, 2009 and now in 2017 the LSC released a report to update the public on the justice gap, defined as the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs.

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.

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