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.
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.
Jane Kaminski, one of the first volunteers at CVLS’ Amicus Poloniae Legal Clinic, said that the inspiration for starting a legal clinic with the Polish National Alliance in 1990 was ensuring that people in the Polish American community had help in court, or with paperwork that can be complicated even for native born American citizens.
Receiving a Citation to Discover Assets is stressful enough for anyone, let alone a low-income Chicagoan. It’s even more stressful if you’re Mr. Kumer, a 75-year-old who has had a recent stroke and is living off a pension. Mr. Kumer needed a lawyer to explain – both to himself and to the court - that he was judgment-proof and his pension could not be garnished.
Kathy Koester first interviewed to work at CVLS on the same day as the 2013 Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade. Since the parade route went right by CVLS’ office, she had to struggle to physically get to the office. In the two years since then, Kathy has worked her way through the CVLS ranks, and not unlike the parade on that first day, her path has been unusual but exciting.
When Paul Bateman met Serena, she was mid-divorce. Two years earlier, her husband had filed for divorce, obtaining and paying for her private representation through a defined contribution plan. As the legal proceedings dragged on, Serena felt increasingly uncomfortable with an attorney paid for by her soon-to-be ex-husband.
The CVLS St. Malachy - Precious Blood Legal Clinic has been serving Hispanic and African American communities since 1994. Its longtime chair, Bruce Zumstein, is retiring in November 2015.
While chairing a legal clinic in the Loop, longtime friend of CVLS Mary Anne Smith encountered a church sharing program wherein more affluent parishes helped out poorer parishes. Part of this program involved a medical clinic for low-income members of the community; seeing this clinic in action, Mary Anne envisioned a similar program providing legal help.
CVLS’ Jane Addams Legal Clinic’s namesake founded Hull House in Chicago in 1889. Over the years, it grew into a community organization that exemplified Addams’ ideals for women’s rights, neighborhood development and social justice.
Here's what our volunteers have been up to this month!
- Longtime Volunteer Gives Bank A Lesson On The Law
- Silver's Social Security Success