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Katten Celebrates 10 Years of Providing Free Services at Legal Clinic in a Chicago Public School

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Katten Celebrates 10 Years of Providing Free Services at Legal Clinic in a Chicago Public School

Apr 20, 2023 (PRNewswire via COMTEX) —
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, April 20, 2023

CHICAGO, April 20, 2023     /PRNewswire/ — Katten announced today that the firm commemorated a decade of service with the Katten Legal Clinic at Chicago Public Schools’ Jose de Diego Community Academy in collaboration with Legal Aid Chicago, the Midwest’s largest provider of free civil legal services.

“Our Katten de Diego Legal Clinic is the crown jewel of our pro bono program.” – Jonathan Baum, Katten’s senior counsel

“Our Katten de Diego Legal Clinic is the crown jewel of our pro bono program. It exemplifies our commitment to provide high-quality legal services to those who desperately need them but can’t afford to pay for them,” said Jonathan K. Baum, Katten’s Director of Pro Bono Services. “I salute the talented attorneys and paralegals who have helped our clients navigate tough situations in tough times. And we are so grateful to our partners at Legal Aid Chicago, without whom this work would not be possible.”

The Katten clinic is one of the nation’s first legal aid clinics in an urban public school, an initiative that was recognized in 2016 with an American Bar Association (ABA) Pro Bono Publico Award.

“Legal Aid Chicago is proud to partner with Katten and the Jose de Diego Community Academy to deliver critical legal services to the Humboldt Park community. The Katten de Diego Legal Clinic provides an opportunity for people to receive help and have their stories heard within their own neighborhood, making legal aid accessible to those who need it the most,” said Melissa A. Bartolomei, supervisory attorney of Pro Bono and Community

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Law firm offers free service to people caught stealing groceries

An Ontario law firm is offering pro bono services to first-time offenders who have been arrested for stealing groceries.

On Monday, We Defend You Legal Services shared an Instagram post saying they will defend those who have been arrested for shoplifting food from a grocery store at no cost.

“My thing is people who are not motivated by greed or gain, if it’s for necessity, if you’ve just fallen on hard times, just had a horrible day, or just made a bad mistake, we’re going to defend you pro bono,” licensed paralegal, Frank Alfano, told CTV News Toronto Friday.

“We’re not going to charge money for someone who stole a carton of eggs or a loaf of bread. If they can’t afford the eggs or the bread, they can’t afford us, and they’re the ones who need the most help.”

First-time offenders in the GTA are the only ones who can qualify for these pro bono services, and the total value of stolen goods has to be less than $5,000.

ace per Canada’s Criminal Codethose who are found guilty of theft under $5,000 can serve up to two years in prison.

To avoid jail time, Alfano says those charged can complete diversion programs in lieu of formal prosecution, like making a charitable donation, completing community service, or writing an apology letter since this theft is considered “minor in nature.

“Once they’ve completed the requirements of their diversion program, the case is withdrawn,” he said. “It’s a way of diverting the case out of the court system. It’s recognition that we’re treating the offender, not punishing the crime .”

While the Instagram post is new, Alfano says he has been offering pro bono services for this type of charge for years.

“The reason I’ve been doing them for free

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Pro Bono: Winnie Eilert: Give those in legal need a fighting chance

Aaron Irving, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid director of pro bono

Winnie Eilert is no stranger to Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

Her first introduction was in 2016 when she was invited to speak at one of JALA’s family law informational clinics.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Eilert was actively involved with JALA-Clay County where she worked on a statewide initiative to provide free legal services to victims of intimate partner violence.

While working on the state-wide initiative, Eilert was able to learn more about the variety of services JALA offers to the underserved in our community, including JALA’s Family Law at Reduced Expense program.

FLARE is a legal aid program designed to serve clientele that are unable to qualify for volunteer representation, but cannot afford standard attorney rates. Think “low bono.”

In 2020, Eilert opened Eilert Law PLLC, where she practices family and criminal law as well as security clearance defense.

Since opening her own practice, she has remained actively involved in JALA’s FLARE program, assisting more than 70 low-income clients with their family law-related matters. Eilert is a champion for the FLARE program and illustrates the importance of this program at JALA.

“I believe that everyone should have an opportunity to have legal representation. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same financial resources to be able to receive legal guidance and representation. With the emergence of the FLARE program, even more individuals have access to legal representation without the hurdle of incurring crippling legal fees,” Eilert said.

Pro bono work through JALA gives Eilert the opportunity to serve those in need and give them a fighting chance that they may not have otherwise had.

Eilert said that some of the most interesting cases he handled were pro bono, as the underserved community faces its own set of unique challenges.


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Traci Feit Love continues to deliver pro bono services while negotiating through the trauma and injustices she witnesses

Pro Bono

Traci Feit Love continues to deliver pro bono services while negotiating through the trauma and injustices she witnesses


Mallika Kaur.

Lawyers have been organizing in large numbers during the last six years to offer pro bono legal services to immigrants, racial minorities and small businesses affected by COVID-19. The new post-Roe landscape is no different.

Among the significant forces behind this pro bono organizing effort is Lawyers for Good Government, a nonprofit that grew out of a popular Facebook group started by Traci Feit Love in 2016. In this interview, I talk with Love about the work she continues to do with unstoppable zeal. She paused long enough to explain that her drive is also a way of coping with the injustices she witnesses in the world.

Our discussion highlights how reactions to individual or collective traumas never look the same and need not cause an inability to function. They may even inspire extreme productivity, as exhibited by Love. Maintaining a personal routine that facilitates her work keeps Love going and inspires others. L4GG has delivered more than $15 million worth of legal services. While the cumulative toll on Love has made her feel as if she aged 20 years in six years, the work seems to be the only way to not give in to cynicism.

Mallika Kaur: Let’s begin with the Dobbs v. Jackson decision. How have you and the team at L4GG responded in the immediate wake of that decision, especially while balancing a range of personal reactions?

Traci Feit Love: We responded by focusing on the work; trying to identify what the short-term, medium-term and long-term legal needs would be and what

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Eastern Ky. attorney’s tweet goes viral, offering free legal services after SCOTUS abortion ruling

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) – Attorney Michelle Lawson said she felt overwhelmed when the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade on Friday.

“I think my gut has not unclenched since I heard the news Friday,” she said. “I wanted to be able to do something to help people.”

In a viral tweet, receiving more than 12,000 retweets, Lawson said she is offering pro bono services to women in Kentucky if they get an abortion and also to the providers who perform them.

“It ended up exploding into this viral tweet, and through that, I’ve made connections to other attorneys throughout the state who wanted to provide the same services,” she added.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, Kentucky’s trigger law banned all abortions unless a pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. Under that law, a woman cannot be prosecuted for getting an abortion but the doctor can.

“I haven’t had any women reach out about prosecution or anything like that, but I have had some survivors of violence reach out for some services,” she said. “I’ve been able to help them so far.”

Kentucky’s trigger law does not have protections for those who are victims of assault, incest or rape.

“I’m a survivor myself,” she added. “So it was very important to me to do something that I felt like I could help other women and anyone else anyone in the LGBTQ plus community.”

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