Brinks Gilson & Lione: LAF Sixth Annual Golf Outing Event Co-Sponsors

For the sixth year in a row, Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., is at the helm of sponsoring LAF’s Annual Golf Outing, in partnership with the global business advisory firm FTI Consulting. Brinks attorney Brad Lane, a partner experienced in patent and trade secret litigation, has been instrumental year after year in urging attorneys to volunteer their time on matters referred by LAF, as well as securing the firm’s support for the annual golf outing, one of LAF’s most enjoyable annual events.

In addition to being an advocate for LAF at Brinks, Brad has been a long-time supporter of LAF: “I support LAF because of the wide array of legal aid services LAF offers to our community, and its willingness to include the private bar in its mission. Based on my experience in interacting with LAF on various pro bono referrals over the past 15 years, it has been a truly win-win experience — our attorneys have contributed their time to LAF referred matters, and/or have made financial commitments to LAF, and in return have received rewarding pro bono experiences and made positive contributions to the community. Supporting LAF by way of sponsoring the annual LAF golf outing is another example of how Brinks supports this extraordinary legal aid organization’s mission.”


LAF is dedicated to ensuring that low-income individuals and their families receive advocacy, legal representation, and support services in a variety of civil legal areas, including Consumer, Housing, Family, and Public Benefits law.

LAF is thrilled to have Brinks co-sponsoring the Annual Golf Outing again in 2016, and we are deeply grateful to Brad for his continued support of our work!

Come tee off with LAF on Monday, September 21, 2015 at Harborside International Golf Center! Tickets and sponsorships for the Sixth Annual Golf Outing are available now.

Thank you Brinks Gilson & Lione, and thank you Brad!

On Ezekiel and Chocolate Pie

Last month at our Annual Luncheon, LAF presented the Jerold S. Solovy Equal Justice Award to Daniel Lindsey, a Supervisory Attorney in our Consumer Practice Group.  This award is given annually to one attorney on LAF’s staff whose work embodies the work of Jerold Solovy, a proud Chicagoan who worked to change the legal system to improve the lives of people living in poverty.  We are so grateful for Dan and all the work he does, both for everyone at LAF and our clients.

Read his speech from the Luncheon below, and you’ll get a sense of how much he cares about his work at LAF and in our community:

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“LAF helped me realize that women have rights and can seek help.”

On Friday, June 19, LAF client Bhavika Kalani courageously told her story to a crowded ballroom of more than 500 people at our Annual Luncheon.  She overcame an arranged marriage to an abusive husband in India, who moved their family to the U.S. and kept her living in fear.  With LAF’s help, she was able to break free from her husband, obtain sole custody of her children, and start a new life for her family in the United States, with the security and freedom this country promises for all.  You can read more of her story in LAF’s 2014 Annual Report and in LAF’s July eNewsletter.

In her Luncheon speech, she explained the impact LAF has had on her family and their lives:

“My boys finally have a peaceful life here.  We are finally in a good place.  I am working and taking computer classes.  Om is a well-rounded eleven-year-old boy.  He gets all A’s and behaves very well at school.  Shivam is an energetic five-year-old boy who has no memory of his father.  I take both my boys to temple and Sunday classes and swimming classes at YMCA every week.  In the conservative Indian culture that I was raised in, marriage was a forever deal.  I had never seen anybody divorced.  For years, I believed this was going to be my life without any escape from the mental and physical abuse by my husband and his family.  LAF helped me realize that women have rights and can seek help.   I will forever be grateful for the mental peace I have today.  I would like to give back to society by becoming a productive member of this society.  I want every opportunity for my children to excel and be happy.”

We are proud of Bhavika’s bravery and grateful for her willingness to share her story.


Medical-Legal Partnerships and July 2015 eNewsletter

A little girl who lives in a run-down apartment full of black mold can be treated for her asthma forever without getting any better.  Her doctor can’t force her landlord to remove the mold that’s causing the problem, but a lawyer can.  Likewise, a lawyer can’t prescribe the medicine to treat the pain of chronic disease for an elderly man, but she can fight to ensure the patient’s electricity stays on so he can keep his medications refrigerated.  A disabled veteran denied handicap-accessible housing will face further medical trouble because of his poor housing situation.  A diabetic woman denied access to food stamps will face complications because of her inability to obtain healthy foods.  These are the people medical-legal partnerships will help.
A study by the National Center for Medical Legal Partnerships shows that 1 in 6 people needs legal help to live a healthy life.  For those living in poverty like LAF’s clients, legal issues can exacerbate their chronic health problems, and health issues can trigger legal problems.   Medical-legal partnerships allow lawyers and doctors to work together to address the causes and consequences of illness and build a path to long-term health.
LAF has partnerships ongoing and in development across Cook County – with the Howard Brown Health Center,  Provident Hospital, and the Chicago Department of Public Health and Cook County Hospital System.  These groundbreaking projects are bold, local, data-driven approaches to improving health and fighting poverty for the people of Chicagoland.
Carrie Chapman, Director of LAF’s Public Benefits Practice Group, explains: “Medical-legal partnerships offer us a new way to fight poverty and be a part of making lasting changes in our clients’ lives.  By embedding our work within a medical team, we can help our clients be healthier, and healthier clients can take advantage of education, training, and job opportunities and achieve real economic stability.”

Mark Sampson, and Segal McCambridge, team up with LAF for Veterans Charity Challenge

For the third year in a row, LAF is participating in the Veterans Charity Challenge, sponsored by Crowdrise. The Challenge is a six-week effort to raise money for nonprofit organizations working to help veterans, which kicks off on Memorial Day and runs until the 4th of July. With the challenge coming to a close, LAF reached out to Mark Sampson, a member of the LAF Young Professionals Board and an associate at Segal McCambridge, to see if the firm would consider sponsoring the final week of the Challenge.

Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney Ltd. agreed to sponsor the LAF Veterans’ Rights Project Charity Challenge in its final week. If LAF can raise $1,000 by June 30, Segal McCambridge will match their efforts with an additional $1,000, with all proceeds benefiting LAF’s Veterans’ Rights Project. We are hoping this will help land us a spot in the top 3 finishers’ category, so we can win even more cash for LAF. The top three finishers in the Challenge win an additional $10,000, $5,000 or $3,000.

Sampson_Mark_BIOWe are thrilled to have Mark’s involvement with the YPB, especially with this exciting partnership. Mark has been involved with the YPB for one year now, and has quickly become a valued member. He has been extremely active attending and supporting YPB events and also serves on the Outreach Committee. At Segal McCambridge, he is an associate attorney practicing products liability and toxic tort litigation. In his free time he enjoys traveling, sailing, and watching Notre Dame Football.

Mark shared with us why he chose to become a member of LAF’s Young Professional Board: “I joined the YPB because I wanted to get involved in supporting the invaluable services that LAF provides to those in our community who otherwise would not have access to legal counsel representation when they need it most. Securing a sponsorship from Segal McCambridge for this Challenge was an excellent opportunity to help LAF raise money for one of its most critical projects.”

LAF’s Veterans’ Rights Project is dedicated to ensuring that low-income service members, veterans, and their families receive advocacy, legal representation, and educational services regarding the enforcement of their legal rights and benefits, both with the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as in a variety of other civil legal areas, including Consumer, Housing, Family, and Public Benefits law.

LAF is very excited about this partnership, and is grateful Segal McCambridge realizes the importance of supporting a project that benefits some of the most vulnerable, and most deserving, members of our community. If you would like to help us meet our challenge and win an additional $1000, please donate here.

Thank you Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, and thank you Mark!

Mary Hutchings Reed, recipient of this year’s Champion for Justice Award

Every year, the Champion for Justice Award is given to an individual who has advocated for people living in poverty through their pro bono commitment to LAF. LAF is so proud to be able to honor Mary Hutchings Reed with this year’s Champion for Justice Award.

Mary joined LAF’s Board in 2000, where she served as the chair of its Fundraising Committee. She was instrumental in the early formation of LAF’s Young Professionals Board, and in the organization of the inaugural golf outing. She served on LAF’s rebranding committee, and designed a program to connect Board members with LAF staff members, in order to deepen – Board involvement with LAF’s mission. She has hosted and organized several donor cultivation events, and is contributing a portion of the sales from her newest novel, Saluting the Sun, to LAF.

Mary has a long list of accomplishments that go far beyond her relationship with LAF. She received her bachelors and master’s degrees from Brown University, and her law degree from Yale. She recently retired after practicing law for nearly 39 years. Mary began her career at Sidley & Austin, and then moved onto Winston and Strawn where she helped start the Advertising, Marketing, and Privacy Law Practice. She has perennially been listed in Leading Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers (USA), and twice was named Best Advertising Lawyer in Chicago.

She has served on the Board of Lawyers for the Creative Arts, the Board of Directors of the WBEZ Advisory Board, the American Civil Liberties Union of Chicago, the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, and Steel Beam Theatre. She has been honored with awards from the Board of Lawyers for the Creative Arts, as well as the Women’s Bar Association. Through the Lawyers committee for Civil Rights under Law, she served as counsel to the Center for Neighborhood Technology. Mary has also taught entertainment law at Northwestern University and Columbia College, and currently writes a column for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. In her free time, she serves the Chicago homeless population by volunteering with The Night Ministry.

Her friend Susan Russell, refers to Mary as “a brilliant, charismatic and big-hearted human being who goes out of her way to help those around her achieve their goals. Her list of talents is long. And her generosity of spirit is, no doubt, felt and appreciated by many.”

We could not agree more. Congratulations Mary and thank you, from your friends here at LAF!