“As a law student in Illinois, if you are looking to work in legal aid, you know LAF is where you want to be.” said Erin Novak, 26 year old VISTA Attorney. Erin is a Chicago native and started her year of service in August of 2014 in the Public Benefits practice group. The VISTA program was an easy choice for Erin, she never got the opportunity to intern for LAF in college like she wanted to and has always had a passion for service oriented work. When Erin is not dealing with client intake or conducting outreach, she spends her time dancing, cooking, cleaning, and working out. Keeping her social relationships with friends and co-workers is still a priority to her despite all of the hard work she puts in everyday at LAF.
Erin shared with me a few stories where she felt especially appreciated for the work she is able to be a part of. The gratitude of the clients after helping them gain benefits or even just pointing them in the right direction, makes it all worth it. She told me about a specific food stamp case where she helped a mother get the proper benefits for her and her daughter. Having Erin there to handle the logistics made the process a lot less stressful for the client and it’s these little things that our Attorneys are able to do that make a world of difference in a client’s life.
Erin referred to herself as a “wandering soul” and although she is not sure where her career is going to take her, she knows that she wants to make a difference in the lives of troubled youth and people in poverty. She is hoping this year at LAF will help her determine the path to find happiness in her career, as well as establish lifelong friendships and connections.
You rock, Erin!