When LAF centralized its operations four years ago, we worked hard to remain present in neighborhood communities, even though our physical office spaces all had moved downtown. So, when DLA Piper approached us about developing a free legal clinic in the Woodlawn neighborhood, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to do just that. The Woodlawn Clinic is a partnership between LAF, DLA Piper, and the AKArama Foundation, where the clinic is located. Every month, attorneys from DLA Piper and other law firms and corporate legal departments, work alongside LAF attorneys and law students from University of Chicago to provide free legal services to this underserved community.
Annie Geraghty Helms, DLA Piper’s Director and Counsel for US Pro Bono Programs, explains: “We simply could not run the clinic without the support and wise counsel that LAF provides. Their lawyers are expert at what they do, and that makes our lawyers not only feel more comfortable and confident when they volunteer at the clinic, but also ensures that we are providing the best possible advice to every individual who walks through the clinic doors.”
Today, the clinic has served nearly 900 individuals since it opened in 2010 – helping to reinstate the Section 8 housing voucher of a women who had suffered four aneurysms, assisting a woman in obtaining a no contact order against a neighbor who was stalking her, helping a single mother close on her first home, and helping a man untangle himself from a mass of bureaucracy which had resulted in a gross overstatement of his child support obligations. “I love volunteering at the Woodlawn Clinic,” says Katie Jahnke Dale, a member of LAF’s Young Professionals Board and DLA Piper Associate, “It is a terrific experience for any lawyer, regardless of their experience level or practice group. Being there reminds me of why I became a lawyer, and helps me remain connected to my community.”
We are grateful for DLA Piper’s dedication to our community, and for their continued support of LAF. They have stepped up as Reception Sponsors for our upcoming Golf Outing, at the Harborside International Golf Center on Monday, September 21. Tickets and more are available here.