Naeem Nulwala explains his job in very matter-of-fact terms, defining the boundaries of his work. “My job is to take in facts, come up with realistic outcomes, and do what I need to do to reach them.” But the cases Naeem handles as an attorney in LAF’s Children and Families Practice Group are rarely as simple as his summary makes them sound.
Much of his time is spent working with survivors of domestic violence, but “it isn’t just family law issues,” Naeem explains. Many clients have extensive legal problems beyond physical violence which stem from their abuse, including getting protection from abusers, finding housing, getting access to food, ensuring support for children, dealing with aggressive creditors, and more. Especially for survivors of abuse who live in poverty, the obstacles to reclaiming a sense of normalcy can seem endless – the key to handling domestic violence cases is having a good network of resources for all the client’s needs. “Referring clients to good resources lets me focus on how I can best help them – as an attorney.”
LAF is an integral part of survivors’ support networks because “there are minimal other resources out there for people who can’t afford an attorney. And many of the people we represent are already at a disadvantage.” Naeem and others at LAF help survivors obtain protection from their abusers and unravel all the related legal issues. “Legal aid can’t erase the realities of what happened,” Naeem says, “but it helps things start to get a little better.”
Your support enables LAF to continue making things better for survivors. Make your tax-deductible contribution for 2017 at http://www.lafchicago.org.