On the last day of 2014, we celebrate Andrea Cambray, recognized as this month’s Face of Justice by Illinois Legal Aid Online. You can watch her profile here. Andrea is the Outreach Coordinator of the Community Engagement Unit at LAF. She knows from personal experience how difficult it can be to access justice, and it made her realize what a challenge it must be for others who do not have the same resources as she did. It made her even more passionate to help as many people as possible. Andrea explains that justice is “everybody having the same access regardless of different factors in their life, such as religion, race, and language.”
With your help, we can make Andrea’s vision of justice possible. Make your tax-deductible donation for 2014 to LAF here: https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/LAF/OnlineGiving.html
Cynthia Sadkin, the director of Client and Community Services at LAF, has been an integral part of LAF for the last 22 years. Cynthia’s passion for equal justice fuels her drive and dedication to our organization:
“I feel passionate, and I have always felt passionate about access to justice. It is one of the foundations of our country and without it I’m not sure what we’re all fighting for. And I’m proud to be doing that every day, and that I dedicated my career to it.”
Keep up the great work, Cynthia!
Ron Marmer has been a member of LAF’s governing board since 2008. He mentioned a few reasons why he is thankful for LAF:
“What I like about LAF is the commitment of the staff. I think we have really remarkable people serving on the staff and they could be doing lots of other things while probably getting paid a lot more money, but they do what they do out of commitment to their clients.”
Thank you for your commitment to LAF too, Ron!
Today we hear from a Senior Attorney in the Consumer Practice Group, Carl Flaningam. Carl is thankful for LAF for a lot of reasons but he is especially thankful for the services we are able to offer our clients. He shared with us a story of how his work was able to significantly impact an elderly man who was having trouble getting the benefits he deserved:
“We represented an 87-year old who was having his Social Security check reduced because of a defaulted student loan. We got his treating physician to sign the Department of Education’s form that he was permanently and totally disabled; we then had to get the Department of Education to process the paperwork, which required numerous phone calls and the involvement of Congresswoman Schakowsky’s office. But eventually it happened, and it made a significant difference in his income. “
Thank you for everything that you do, Carl!
Today we hear from a very vital member of the LAF staff, our Development Officer, Anakin Morris. Anakin is part of the External Relations team here at LAF and is a major reason why we are able to provide legal service to so many clients. Although he does not have direct contact with these clients, he is thankful that his daily efforts have an effect on their livelihood:
“I am proud to be a part of LAF, because legal aid is one of the few really comprehensive ways to combat poverty in people’s lives. Poverty hits people when they’re already down, and takes advantage of the already disadvantaged. LAF levels the playing field and gives a fair shot to those who wouldn’t otherwise get one. I don’t have any contact with our clients – I do marketing and fundraising and events – but I come in here every day knowing that what I do makes my colleagues’ work possible. I love being able to tell their stories and cheer on their successes, and I am grateful to be included in this powerful and important work.”
You rock Anakin, Thanks!
When a lawyer is considering what kind of law they want to practice, there are a lot of different factors they usually consider, some more flashy than others. Working in private practice or corporate law can be very appealing, especially when it comes to the pay. Barbara Richardson, a Senior Attorney in the Consumer Practice Group, has had her fair share of experience in these different fields, but when it comes down to it, she believes she belongs at LAF:
“It’s all about the clients. When I went to law school, I set my sights on becoming a rich, corporate attorney after growing up in poverty. During law school, I worked at a private law firm and a corporation. Although the pay was attractive in private practice, I did not feel the excitement and adrenaline flowing when completing tasks. My heart longed to make a difference in people’s lives. As a result, I sought Legal Assistance Foundation during my last year of law school while working in my law school’s legal clinic. Over 24 years later, I have not regretted my decision to help indigent clients. I wake up with energy and excitement every morning (even on weekends) and think about the work that I need to complete for my clients. It’s really a joy to work at LAF with likeminded co-workers.”