Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation Newsroom

December 17, 2012

LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO BILL FARR

LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO BILL FARR

William E. (Bill) Farr was presented with the Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Award on December 5, 2012.  Mr. Farr, a solo practitioner, has an office in Pana, Christian County, Illinois.  He is a long-time, regular volunteer for Land of Lincoln who accepts cases in several counties. This past year, another pro bono attorney who was handling a very contested adoption case passed away suddenly. Mr. Farr did not hesitate to take over this adoption case, even though he knew it would be time-consuming and even though he already had an open pro bono case.

Lauren Pashayan, Managing Attorney of the Northern Regional Office located in Springfield, presented Bill with his award. “We appreciate Bill Farr for his dedication to the community and his ready willingness to help out when needed,” she stated.

The Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Awards were created in 2011 in memory of Joseph R. Barylak, who was Land of Lincoln’s Executive Director from 1976 to 2003.  The Board of Directors of Land of Lincoln created these awards to honor a volunteer attorney or judge from each of its five regions who has directly achieved outstanding results for our clients or who has supported Land of Lincoln staff in their delivery of high quality legal services.

LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO PATRICIA KIEVLAN

LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO PATRICIA KIEVLAN

 Attorney Patricia Kievlan was presented with the Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Award for the Central Region on November 8, 2012 at a meeting of the St. Clair County Bar Association.  Ms. Kievlan specializes in domestic relations cases and is a long-time volunteer for Land of Lincoln.  She has helped numerous clients move on with their lives by representing them expertly in divorce cases.  In the past three years alone, she has handled twelve pro bono divorces, donating nearly 100 hours of her time.

In addition, she has also served as a pro bono trainer at Land of Lincoln trial advocacy training programs for staff, and at family law trainings for other pro bono attorneys.  Richard Chase, Litigation and Training Specialist at Land of Lincoln, states, “Patricia Kievlan’s pro bono work handling numerous individual divorce cases and training our staff attorneys provides an invaluable service to Land of Lincoln clients.”

The Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Awards were created in 2011 in memory of Joseph R. Barylak, who was Land of Lincoln’s Executive Director from 1976 to 2003.  The Board of Directors of Land of Lincoln created these awards to honor a volunteer attorney or judge from each of its five regions who has directly achieved outstanding results for our clients or who has supported Land of Lincoln staff in their delivery of high quality legal services.

LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO GARY MILONE

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LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO GARY MILONE

Gary Milone was presented with the Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Award on November 7, 2012.  Mr. Milone was presented the award by Michael Fiello, Managing Attorney of the Southern Regional Office at Land of Lincoln, and Lawrence Ruemmler, Senior Supervisory Attorney with Land of Lincoln.  Mr. Milone is an attorney in private practice in Flora, located in Clay County, Illinois.  He has provided pro bono services through Land of Lincoln since 1985.  Pro bono means that the attorney represents the client without any charge for the services.

“Gary is our go-to attorney in the northwest part of our service territory,” notes Michael Fiello, Managing Attorney.  “The only time we get a no from Gary is when he has a conflict or is on vacation.  We can rely on him to do a good job regardless of the type of case referred to him.”  In the past three years, Mr. Milone has handled seven pro bono cases, including Orders of Protection, visitation disputes, divorces, and judgment enforcement.  In addition, Mr. Milone participates in Land of Lincoln’s judicare program, providing services to Land of Lincoln clients at less than 50% of the market rate.

The Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Awards were created in 2011 in memory of Joseph R. Barylak, who was Land of Lincoln’s Executive Director from 1976 to 2003.  The Board of Directors of Land of Lincoln created these awards to honor a volunteer attorney or judge from each of its five regions who has directly achieved outstanding results for our clients or who has supported Land of Lincoln staff in their delivery of high quality legal services.

November 5, 2012

Dedicated Lawyers Get a Boost to Help People in Need

THE CHICAGO BAR FOUNDATION
October 31, 2012
Contact: Ryanne Easley
reasley@chicagobar.org
 
 $50,000 Fellowships for Five Legal Aid Attorneys Offset Law School Debt,  Allow Committed Lawyers to Continue Serving Those Most in Need

Chicago, IL – On October 29, 2012, five lawyers dedicated to helping people in need received key financial assistance to help them continue to pursue this critical work. The Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) presented the 2012 CBF Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowships to:

• Catherine Alin, LAF

Sarah Baum, LAF

Adela Carlin, LAF

Jill Roberts, Cabrini Green Legal Aid

Amy Sample, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc.

The Fellows each will receive $50,000 in loan repayment assistance over five years to help them continue their careers in legal aid.

Upon receiving her fellowship, Adela Carlin, Director of LAF’s Community Engagement Unit, said “I cried when I got the call because up until that moment, I did not know how I would ever finish paying my law school loans. This award has changed our family and allowed me to think about the future in ways I couldn’t imagine possible.”

First awarded in 2007, the CBF awards five annual fellowships of up to $50,000 per fellowship to individual legal aid or public interest law attorneys who demonstrate a commitment to public interest work, academic achievement in law school, and outstanding character and integrity. The CBF Sun-Times Fellowship addresses a crisis facing lawyers in our community who are increasingly finding that a career in legal aid and public interest law is simply untenable from an economic standpoint.

Lawyers graduating today typically have an average of more than $100,000 in law school debt (and it is increasingly common for law graduates to have $150,000 or more in debt), while starting salaries at pro bono and legal aid organizations in the Chicago area average only $49,000. Through a generous $2 million cy pres award from a case involving the Chicago Sun-Times, the CBF was able to create these fellowships to provide significant loan repayment assistance to those who most need it.

“One of our key priorities at the CBF is to help make it possible for dedicated attorneys to pursue and maintain careers in legal aid,” said Bob Glaves, executive director of The Chicago Bar Foundation. “These attorneys have made enormous personal financial sacrifices to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our community have access to the protections of our justice system. Many of them face mortgage-sized law school debt. The CBF Sun-Times Fellowship aims to help alleviate some of these financial concerns and make it more manageable for these exceptional attorneys to continue their careers in legal aid.”

Each of the five fellowship recipients provides vital services to low-income and disadvantaged members of our community. Catherine Alin advocates for clients who are seeking to end their marriages, a number of whom are victims of domestic violence; Sarah Baum advocates for low-income employees who are seeking to retain or regain employment or compensation that has been wrongfully terminated or withheld; Adela Carlin impacts the lives of thousands through community engagement and outreach efforts in the Chicago area; Jill Roberts represents clients facing eviction as well as those who need assistance with family law matters; and Amy Sample provides critical development services to help her organization effectively advocate for its clients.

November 1, 2012

LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO JOHN H. ELDER

LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO JOHN H. ELDER

Attorney John H. Elder was presented with the Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Award on October 23, 2012.  The award was presented by Ramona Sullivan, Senior Attorney in the Eastern Regional Office in Champaign, at the inaugural meeting of the Sixth Circuit Pro Bono Coordinating Council.  Mr. Elder is a long-time supporter of Land of Lincoln.  When an unusual estate administration case involving a foreign will came to Land of Lincoln, Mr. Elder accepted the referral.  At first it seemed a simple matter, but probating the will was just one of a series of issues that arose and Mr. Elder agreed to work on all of the issues.  In the end, Mr. Elder spent over 200 pro bono hours on this case.  His representation not only resolved title issues for the home, but also ensured that a close family member was named the guardian of the minor children after their mother died and their father left the country.

“John has been an avid supporter of Land of Lincoln for many years, helping out in a variety of ways,” stated Susan Zielke, Managing Attorney of the Eastern Regional Office. “Even from the outset of this particular case, John was willing to step up to assist the client with a foreign will. And in the true spirit of pro bono advocacy, he continued to help her navigate the twists and turns of the situation. Without dedicated attorneys like John Elder, the vital work that Land of Lincoln is able to do on behalf of low income families and individuals would be seriously limited.”

The Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Awards were created in 2011 in memory of Joseph R. Bartylak, who was Land of Lincoln’s Executive Director from 1976 to 2003.  The Board of Directors of Land of Lincoln created these awards to honor a volunteer attorney or judge from each of its five regions who has directly achieved outstanding results for our clients or who has supported Land of Lincoln staff in their delivery of high quality legal services.

October 26, 2012

LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO JUDGE BARBARA CROWDER

LAND OF LINCOLN JOSEPH R. BARTYLAK PRO BONO AWARD PRESENTED TO JUDGE BARBARA CROWDER

Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder was presented with the Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Award on October 23, 2012 by Land of Lincoln’s Western Regional Office Managing Attorney Joan Spiegel.  The award was presented at the Madison County Bar Association Celebrate Pro Bono Luncheon held during national Celebrate Pro Bono week, which runs from October 21-October 27, 2012.  Judge Crowder has been a vigorous advocate for expansion of pro bono legal services in the Third Judicial Circuit.  As a member of the ISBA Delivery of Legal Services Committee, she has advocated for initiatives to improve recruitment and recognition of pro bono attorneys.  In 2011 when Chief Judge Ann Callis established the Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Coordinating Council, believed to be the first circuit-wide pro bono council in the state, Judge Crowder was appointed  Chair.  Judge Crowder also designed, organized and oversaw the implementation of the Legal Advice Center at the Madison County Courthouse where low-income people can meet with an attorney and receive free legal advice about their legal problem.  In addition, she was instrumental in organizing the first Annual Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Luncheon, recognizing the wide variety of pro bono contributions in the Circuit.

Joan Spiegel, Managing Attorney of the Alton based Land of Lincoln service office, said “Judge Crowder has been a tireless advocate for expanding access to justice for the low income residents of our community. Her dedication to pro bono legal services is inspiring. The Legal Advice Center would not exist without Judge Crowder’s commitment to access to justice.”

The Land of Lincoln Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Awards were created in 2011 in memory of Joseph R. Bartylak, who was Land of Lincoln’s Executive Director from 1976 to 2003.  The Board of Directors of Land of Lincoln created these awards to honor a volunteer attorney or judge from each of its five regions who has directly achieved outstanding results for our clients or who has supported Land of Lincoln staff in their delivery of high quality legal services.

September 7, 2012

LAND OF LINCOLN LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, OFFICE ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) announced that the Foundation will receive a grant from the U. S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.  The $500,000 grant through 2015 is made under the Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program.  With this grant, Land of Lincoln will work with law schools and domestic violence agencies to provide comprehensive, holistic legal services to victims of domestic violence.

“This funding will help the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation continue to provide high-quality legal support services to under represented populations in Southern Illinois,” states Senator Durbin.  “I commend Land of Lincoln for their efforts to ensure that all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have a voice in our justice system.”

“We are very grateful to the Department of Justice for supporting these critical legal services to victims of domestic violence,” states Lois Wood, Executive Director of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.  “Studies show access to legal remedies reduces domestic abuse in the long term, but most abused women cannot afford a lawyer.  This grant will allow us to continue these important legal services to help victims escape abuse.”

Formed in 1972, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. provides free legal services to low-income people and seniors in 65 counties in central and southern Illinois.  Our mission is to provide low income and senior residents of central and southern Illinois with high quality civil legal services in order to obtain and maintain their basic human needs. In 2011, Land of Lincoln provided legal services to over 2,200 victims of domestic violence.  For more information, please visit www.lollaf.org.

August 27, 2012

Land of Lincoln Receives Grant for Homeownership Services

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the grant prior to Land of Lincoln’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.  Click the link below to watch a news story highlighting her announcement.

http://fox2now.com/2012/08/24/illinois-to-help-homeowners-facing-foreclosure/

ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN ANNOUNCES $4.5 MILLION GRANT FOR FREE LEGAL HELP FOR CENTRAL, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS HOMEOWNERS

From the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

August 24, 2012

MADIGAN ANNOUNCES $4.5 MILLION GRANT FOR FREE LEGAL HELP FOR CENTRAL, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS HOMEOWNERS

Attorney General Distributes Funds from National Foreclosure Settlement Over Banks’ Illegal ‘Robo-signing,’ Servicing Practices

O’Fallon — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that her office has distributed $4.5 million in funding from the national foreclosure settlement reached earlier this year to the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. Madigan said the grant will help to provide much-needed legal services to struggling homeowners in Central and Southern Illinois.

The Attorney General made her announcement today prior to a keynote address at the Foundation’s 40th anniversary celebration luncheon at the Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon. The funding stems from Madigan’s leading role in securing a $25 billion national settlement in February with the nation’s five largest bank mortgage servicers – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank, formerly GMAC. The settlement addressed allegations of widespread “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents and other fraudulent practices the servicers engaged in while servicing loans of struggling homeowners.

As part of the national settlement, Madigan’s office recovered money from the banks to remediate the historic levels of foreclosure in Illinois. Today’s announcement is the first distribution of that funding, which as a whole will benefit legal assistance programs, housing counseling services and community revitalization efforts to counteract the historic levels of foreclosure throughout Illinois. Madigan announced in April she would commit to distribute $20 million of the funds recovered in the settlement to legal aid services. The Attorney General’s office is continuing to analyze grant proposals toward that goal.

“This grant money will translate into real help for homeowners who otherwise never would have received it, because the need far exceeds the current legal aid resources,” Madigan said. “By ensuring that more homeowners in Central and Southern Illinois have an advocate, we can give more people a fighting chance to save their homes and help stabilize communities throughout the region.”

The Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation provides free civil legal services to low-income people and older citizens in 65 counties in Central and Southern Illinois. The foundation was created to provide access to the justice system, empower people to advocate for themselves and make positive change in the communities the foundation serves.

“It is a great honor to be entrusted by the Attorney General with funding to help the victims of the current housing and economic crisis,” said Lois Wood, Land of Lincoln executive director. “This funding allows us to immediately triple the number of attorneys working with homeowners and to represent many homeowners who were previously ineligible for our help. We project that we will be able to represent more than 3,000 homeowners over the course of this grant, achieving work-outs for many of them that will allow them to stay in their homes.”

In addition to the cash payments directed to the state, Illinois borrowers will receive an estimated $1 billion in direct relief as a result of the national settlement. The direct-borrower funds will assist those who have lost their homes, are underwater or at imminent risk of defaulting on their mortgages. The settlement will also completely overhaul mortgage servicing standards to prevent future abuses by lenders.

Consumers seeking more information on the national settlement can contact Madigan’s Homeowner’s Helpline at (866) 544-7151, or visit her website, www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/bankforeclosuresettlement.html. Borrowers also can visit www.NationalForeclosureSettlement.com.

Read the original release here: http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/pressroom/2012_08/20120824.html

August 24, 2012

Madison County Area Area Leaders Attend Domestic Violence Prevention Conference

8/23/2012 10:10 AM By Christina Stueve Hodges, Madison County Record

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder and local attorney Joan Spiegel were among area leaders who went to Springfield to begin a project to protect victims of domestic violence.

The project focused on developing model protocols for domestic violence, elder abuse and abuse of the disabled, and was funded by the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.

Read the entire article here: http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/246292-area-leaders-attend-domestic-violence-prevention-conference

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