Sponsor in the Spotlight: PricewaterhouseCoopers

In our continuing series on our 2015 Justice is Served sponsors, LAF is pleased to highlight PricewaterhouseCoopers and their continued, generous investment in our work.

moellerLAF has been fortunate to have strong advocates for its work from PwC, including YPB member Anthony Moeller. A manager in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Forensic Technology Solutions practice, Anthony volunteered with LAF before officially joining the YPB earlier this year. He initially became involved by participating in pro bono client interviews at the LAF Woodlawn Legal Clinic, while working as an attorney at Jenner & Block. When he transitioned to PwC, and became aware of PwC’s involvement with and support of LAF, he was eager to become involved in the Young Professionals Board. As a member of the YPB, Anthony hopes to raise even more awareness of the work that LAF                                                                          performs in pursuit of legal justice for its clients.

The External Relations department knew they landed a gem with Anthony, after he attended an informal YPB event and hand-wrote thank you notes before even officially joining the YPB. LAF is very grateful for the contributions great and small that our partners at PwC so generously make to our work. Thanks Anthony!

Justice is Served 2015 will be held on April 10 at The Tortoise Club, featuring live entertainment from John Wade Jazz and a silent auction. Tickets for the evening are $150 and can be purchased here. All proceeds from the evening benefit LAF in its mission to provide free legal services to people living in poverty across the Chicagoland area. Learn more about LAF at http://www.lafchicago.org.

March 2015 eNewsletter

March came in like a lion this year and appears to be going out like a whole pride.  But work at LAF is as fierce as always, and you can read all about it in our latest eNewsletter.

In this month’s eNewsletter, you can read about our Paralegal Ron Castan, who works with veterans to fill a much-needed justice gap.  You can read about our ongoing partnership with McDermott Will & Emery, and its support of our foreclosure training program with the National Consumer Law Center.  You can read about the #GTatLAF Virtual Gala we hosted in December and the award we received from Donors Forum for our “Most Creative Campaign.”  And you can read about our Young Professionals Board’s upcoming Justice is Served spring bash, where you can join us in partying the night away and celebrating the work of LAF.

As always, on behalf of the staff, the Board, the YPB, and the clients we serve here at LAF, thank you for your generosity and support of our work.

Sponsor in the Spotlight: Greenberg Traurig LLP

Today’s Justice is Served 2015 Sponsor in the Spotlight is a firm that has brought two dynamic and energized YPB members to the LAF community.  Michael Cedillos and Barry Horwitz of Greenberg Traurig LLP have been vocal advocates for LAF at their firm, helping to secure critical support for the work LAF is doing to help the most vulnerable people in Cook County.

 

When asked why she supports LAF, Michael (pictured on the left), an Associate in the Litigation Department at Greenberg Traurig, mentioned the reality of the law and its limitations: “Not every life-critical legal issue is one for which you’re automatically entitled to an attorney.  People have very real  representation needs outside the criminal context and deserve competent representation and assistance.”  Michael has been on the YPB since 2012 and serves on the YPB Social Committee.

 

Barry (on the right), who works in the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Practice, co-chairs the YPB’s Outreach Committee, which organizes events and programs that raise visibility for LAF in the broader community.  Since joining the YPB in 2014, Barry has been a dedicated leader on initiatives to bring awareness of LAF and the critical role of legal aid in the justice system:  “I was really excited to develop the law school panel program in partnership with local public interest law programs, to raise visibility for LAF with the next generation of lawyers.”

Without the advocacy and leadership of dedicated YPB members like Michael and Barry, and the generous support of firms like Greenberg Traurig, LAF would be hard-pressed to sustain the assistance it provides to the clients who come through its doors every day. LAF is very grateful for their continued support in 2015.

Justice is Served 2015 will be held on April 10 at The Tortoise Club, featuring live entertainment from John Wade Jazz and a silent auction.  Tickets for the evening are $150 and can be purchased here.  All proceeds from the evening benefit LAF in its mission to provide free legal services to people living in poverty across the Chicagoland area.  Learn more about LAF at www.lafchicago.org.

Sponsor in the Spotlight: Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Each year, LAF relies on the generous sponsorship support of law firms and companies to raise the funds necessary to provide free civil legal services to the most vulnerable people in Cook County. Justice is Served, the annual Spring bash hosted by the LAF Young Professionals Board, is the first LAF event of the year and the first opportunity to publicly thank companies like Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, the 2015 Justice is Served Event Sponsor.

TJAs ambassadors for LAF, members of the Young Professionals Board lead the sponsorship solicitation charge each year, helping to secure critical support from their companies and vendors for the agency’s mission. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has been a longtime and generous supporter of LAF, with two representatives serving on the YPB. Jared Heck (pictured on the right), an associate in the Health Care Fraud Litigation Group, has been on the YPB since 2010 and served for three years on the YPB Executive Committee as the Pro Bono Liaison to the YPB. In that role, Jared expanded YPB member pro bono involvement with LAF, and helped to build a solid foundation for providing members with ongoing opportunities to do pro bono work. Thomas (T.J.) Maas (pictured on the left), an associate in Intellectual Property, joined the YPB in 2011, and has served on the YPB Executive Committee since 2013 as a Fundraising Advocate. Together, Jared and T.J. have been instrumental leaders in the YPB’s efforts to raise over $500,000 in its first five years.

LAF is grateful to Jared and T.J. for their continued advocacy and leadership, and to Katten Muchin Rosenman for serving as the Event Sponsor of Justice is Served 2015.

Justice is Served 2015 will be held on April 10 at The Tortoise Club, featuring live entertainment from John Wade Jazz and a silent auction. Tickets for the evening are $150 and can be purchased here. All proceeds from the evening benefit LAF in its mission to provide free legal services to people living in poverty across the Chicagoland area. Learn more about LAF at http://www.lafchicago.org.

Civil Legal Assistance is a Potent Anti-Poverty Tool

This article on Huffington Post’s Impact Blog, written by our friends at Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation sums up a lot of why LAF’s work is so impactful.  It starts with a story:

Sargent Shriver, President Johnson’s personal choice to lead the War on Poverty, was once asked which of the anti-poverty programs he thought was the most important. “My favorite is Head Start because it was my idea,” he answered. “But I am proudest of Legal Services because I recognized that it had the greatest potential for changing the system under which people’s lives were being exploited.”

Every day we see this potential for changing the system.  When our clients first arrive at LAF they are in crisis, contending with a variety of non-criminal legal issues, including families dealing with unfair evictions, victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking, and veterans denied access to health care or benefits.  LAF helps the individuals we meet to get their lives back on track, and clears the way to a brighter future free from the cycle of poverty.

Read the whole article here.

The Most Famous LAF VISTA of All: George R. R. Martin

If you’re part of the very small portion of the world that is not familiar with the HBO television series and award-winning book series, Game of Thrones, than you probably don’t know much about our most famous VISTA. Before he became a worldwide phenomenon for writing his Song of Ice and Fire series, George R. R. Martin was an AmeriCorps VISTA at LAF in the 1970’s.

GRRMAfter graduating with a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University, GRRM began his VISTA service at LAF’s downtown office in Chicago. At the time LAF was still known as the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation and had neighborhood offices throughout Chicago and Cook County. GRRM spent two years at CCLAF as the Director of Communications and Education, and his job duties were very similar to what our VISTA External Relations Coordinator, Karianna Simpkins, does today, writing press releases and editing the newsletter.

Now GRRM is an award-winning American novelist and short story writer who resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is currently in the process of writing The Winds of Winter, the sixth book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and working as a co-executive producer of Game of Thrones.

As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the VISTA program we wanted to thank George R. R. Martin for his service.  LAF is proud to call you one of our own!

(Above picture can be found on GRRM’s website.)