eNewsletter - July 2016

  
   LAF eNews Update
July 2016   
EQUAL JUSTICE STARTS HERE.
In This Newsletter
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Meet Lisa Palumbo
 
Lisa Palumbo, Supervisory Attorney,
LAF Immigrants and Workers'
Rights Practice Group
 
Because immigration law is almost entirely federal, Lisa Palumbo could have practiced nearly anywhere in the country.  After graduating from law school, she spent time on the Mexican border working with detained asylum seekers, and in Geneva and Hong Kong with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.  But she ultimately settled in Chicago, in large part because of LAF.  That was 24 years ago, and since then Lisa has become a leading voice in some of the groundbreaking work LAF does with immigrants, refugees, and victims of human trafficking. 

Lisa, a Supervisory Attorney in LAF’s Immigrants and Workers’ Rights Practice Group (IWR), balances her time between providing one-on-one direct service to individual clients and developing wider impact materials that create opportunities for whole communities of people seeking a better life.  For example, Lisa worked on a report with the Appleseed Fund for Justice that examined due process issues in the use of video-conference technology in immigration court, educating practitioners and court personnel about working with detained immigrants who are not present in person for their hearings in Chicago's immigrant court.  
 
One of Lisa and IWR's most recent projects has been providing comprehensive legal services to survivors of human trafficking.  This work reaches both citizens and non-citizens, and victims of labor and sex trafficking.  Survivors find their way to LAF through our traditional intake process, through partner organizations, or through our outreach to migrant farmworkers across the state.  To qualify for legal remedies, the victim must report the trafficking to law enforcement, including the FBI, Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, or Immigration Services.  Reporting can involve lengthy investigatory meetings with law enforcement, and, in some cases, testimony in court.  LAF supports them through the reporting process, and also helps survivors file for lawful immigration status or citizenship, and name changes, divorces, child custody, public benefits, employment, or housing.  Housing is frequently the most urgent need -- because those escaping a trafficker are often left homeless.  

Lisa is especially proud of the work of LAF’s Immigrants and Workers’ Rights Practice Group, because it covers cases from employment discrimination against low-wage workers, immigrants and farmworkers, to sex harassment and sex assault, to wage theft and human trafficking.  LAF and IWR are at the forefront of this work nationally, exploring the intersection between labor, immigration, and human trafficking.
 
We’re inspired by everything Lisa does for LAF and our clients.  Thanks, Lisa!
 
Check out LAF on Social Media!
 
Follow us on Twitter at @ChicagoLAF, like our Facebook page, catch up with us on Instagram,
andread our blog at lafchicago.wordpress.com to keep up with all our work!
 

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A special message
from LAF
Executive Director
Diana C. White
There are lots of misconceptions about our work in legal aid.  Some people think we are the public defender.  Some think our clients must have done something wrong to need legal help.  Many think that we are exclusively funded by the government and on a level that enables everyone who needs our help to get it.  
 
Reality is more complicated.  The communities LAF serves are those who face small and large injustices every day, like the ones Tim Hufman works to overturn every day.  LAF's clients are innocent people like Christina and her family who are desperate for our services.  LAF's work is often groundbreaking and complex, like Lisa's work to bring down human traffickers.  And LAF's funding comes more and more from individuals like yourselves, who believe in every person's right to a fair day in court.  
 
On behalf of everyone at LAF and all our clients, I thank you for your continued support over the last 50 years of LAF's presence in Cook County.  Your dedication keeps us strong as we look forward to the next 50!
 
Best,
 
Diana C. White
LAF Executive Director
 
 
LAF Attorney Wins Big from Chicago Bar 
Tim Hufman Received the 2016
Thomas M. Morsch Award
 
Each year, the Chicago Bar Foundation awards the Thomas H. Morsch Award, the premier public recognition for long-time legal aid and public interest law attorneys in our community.  This year's recipient is our very own Tim Hufman!  He was presented with the award on July 18 at the Chicago Bar Association and Foundation Pro Bono & Public Service Awards Luncheon. An excerpt from his nomination letter sums up Tim’s work:
 
Tim embodies the concept of client-centered practice.  He focuses unerringly on the goal of obtaining relief.  Tim never starts thinking about a client’s legal problem by asking, “What does the law provide?”  He starts by asking, “What does the client need?” He refuses to accept apparent barriers that work an injustice in an individual case.  While never one to shy away from an unfamiliar forum, he displays no apparent interest in whether a case may involve media attention or raise a high profile. He simply and genuinely wants to relieve each client’s anxiety and suffering. What matters to Tim is keeping families safe, housed, and together, with their basic needs met.  He judiciously works around his clients’ shortcomings with a kind of steadfast patience and tolerance unrivaled in his peers. He runs on pure empathy.
 
Congratulations, Tim!  We're so proud you've been recognized for all the work you do for our clients! 
 
 
In It for the Long Haul 
Another Installment in LAF's 50th Anniversary Retrospective Story Series
 
This year LAF is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. In the spirit of the celebration, we’re sharing stories from various clients whose lives LAF helped to transform over the past half century. This story began almost a decade ago, and lasted for years. Attorney Kate Shank says she still keeps up with the client and they see continue to see each other many years after the case closed. 
 
Christina's family today: Junior, Janicee, and Christina, with Kate Shank
 
Christina had an Emergency Order of Protection against her husband when she came to LAF in 2007. He was physically abusive towards her- he slapped her, hit her, blackened her eye, and fractured her arm. Much of the abuse occurred in front of the children, creating fear and sleepless nights for the whole family. When Christina came to LAF for help, Kate Shank happily agreed to represent her to obtain a plenary Order of Protection and a divorce. Looking back, Kate described Christina’s abuser as “the very caricature of a bad guy.” 
 
Over the next few years, Kate successfully represented Christina to extend her Order of Protection and to obtain a divorce from her husband. In the divorce judgment, Christina received sole custody of her children, child support, freedom from marital debts, a share of her husband’s retirement accounts, and an order denying her husband visitation. The Order of Protection and divorce judgment also gave Christina something intangible and invaluable – the confidence to know she and her children could live their lives in peace.  
 
Kate continued to represent Christina over the next six years and extended that Order of Protection two more times. In 2014, Christina agreed to a permanent a restraining order which prevents her ex-husband from initiating any contact with the children until they are 23 years old, and forbids him from ever having contact with Christina. Today, Christina and her children are excelling. Janicee, 19, has graduated from high school and is taking classes at a city college. Junior is 17, a rising high school senior who is preparing for the ACT and looking at colleges for next fall. Christina works full-time and is happy and healthy.
 
Kate praises Christina’s strength through the nearly decade-long legal battle against her abusive ex-husband. As Kate explains, “Even with child support that was unreliable at best, Christina has always managed to maintain steady employment, keep stable housing for the kids, keep them academically achieving, and stay strong for them. Christina and her children are a remarkable family and I am grateful to know them.” 
 
 
LAF's Seventh Annual 
Golf Outing Coming Up
Join Us at the Harborside International
Golf Center on September 19th!  
 
Join LAF for its Seventh Annual Golf Outing on the Port Course at the Harborside International Golf Club in Chicago, IL. Harborside International Golf Center has been Chicago's home for golf since 1995. Located only minutes from downtown, Harborside offers the premier golf experience in the Chicagoland area. As the only facility with two of Golfweek's "Best Courses You Can Play in Illinois" and home to the most expansive driving range and practice facility in Northern Illinois, Harborside delivers the best that Chicago has to offer in golf.  Previous attendees can secure a discount with the early bird code through the end of the month as well!  Get your tickets and reserve your spot today!  
 
 
LAF 's Seventh Annual Golf Outing
Monday, September 19, 2016
10:30 Registration - 11:00 Lunch - 12:00 Start
Harborside International Golf Center
11001 South Doty Avenue East, Chicago, IL 
 
And Don't Forget Your Raffle Tickets!  Our Grand Prize winner will win a week in a private Condo in Maui, $1,000 towards airfare, a free round of golf, and dinner for two!  The Grand Prize Drawing will be held November 2016.  Winners need not be present to win.  
 
 
Check out LAF on Social Media!
 
Follow us on Twitter at @ChicagoLAF, like our Facebook page, catch up with us on Instagram, and read our blog at lafchicago.wordpress.com to keep up with all our work!
 
 
Sign up for Monthly Giving!
Pledge your ongoing support to LAF and
make your recurring gift today!
 
  
LAF
EQUAL JUSTICE STARTS HERE.

For the past 50 years, LAF has provided free legal services in non-criminal matters to the poorest and most vulnerable people in our community, ensuring they have the same access to legal services as those who can afford it.  By resolving critical legal problems that systemically trap people in poverty, such as domestic violence, consumer fraud, and unfair evictions, LAF has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals get their lives back on track and given them hope for a brighter future.  
We rely on the generous investment of individuals and companies to provide the private support we need to fulfill our mission.  
 
Join us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and our Wordpress blog to stay updated on everything happening with LAF.
 

 

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