eNewsletter - October 2016

  
   LAF eNews Update
October 2016   
EQUAL JUSTICE STARTS HERE.
In This Newsletter
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Meet Peter Monahan
 
Peter Monahan will tell you that his title is “Pro Bono Counsel,” but he feels like a regular part-time staff attorney.  Peter is one of LAF’s dedicated in-house volunteers, who has an office and a caseload and a supervisor – just like LAF’s staff attorneys – but he does it without any pay.  “For me, it’s a legal practice.  I take a case and make a full commitment to it and handle it just as I always have. I don’t think of it as pro bono work.  I’m just doing legal work.  I’ve always valued professional freedom, and I have a great deal of it at LAF. I have the discretion to take the cases that interest me while also helping my colleagues address the priorities of the practice group.” 
 
His practice concentrated on defending lawyers in malpractice and disciplinary cases. In 2006, he accepted an appointment to represent the Shakman Compliance Administrators, consulting with the administrators and ensuring that City and County governments eliminated patronage practices.  He did pro bono work, when he got the chance, as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for children in the foster care system.  He enjoyed working with the children. As a CASA, his role was to advocate for the best interests of the children which often meant intervening with their attorney or the social services agencies they were navigating, but he did not represent them as their attorney. He enjoyed the variety of legal work and felt he was contributing to the greater good by helping to shape the law over the course of his career, and in the next step, he wanted to return to representing individuals in the courtroom. 
 
 
He started working at LAF, taking just a case here and there, about three years ago.  Last year, when he retired from the Shakman work, he began working more regularly at LAF, eventually coming into his current role as a regular pro bono counsel.  Peter says a role like his as in-house counsel is a good fit for lawyers who feel they’re ready to move on from their jobs but who don’t want to just play golf.  At LAF, Peter found a great opportunity to continue to practice law and get back in the courtroom, as well as do a lot of good and help people who have nowhere else to turn. 
 
Today, he handles a family law caseload that is about half the size of the other attorneys’ caseloads in the Children & Families Practice Group.  Most of his cases begin with a client coming to LAF seeking an emergency order of protection; he works with the client to extend those OPs and continues to represent them on any related family law issue. In many cases, Peter explains, he is helping clients move on in their lives after a moment of crisis.  Legal aid can step in and resolve the crisis and then help the client move on and live in safety. 
 
As he explains:  “The need is practically infinite.  Poverty is really at the root of a lot of our clients’ interrelated issues.  An abused mother also probably needs housing, public benefits, and more.  I think that the people for whom we can intervene have a much better chance of coping and changing their situation than those who don’t get LAF’s help.  The work is satisfying in that way.  I feel I can actually help people, use my skills, and solve real problems for them.”
 
Peter says he owes his wife a debt of gratitude.  She supports him in all of the burdens of his work – clients calling at odd hours, bringing casework home after hours, and the stress of preparing for court – even without the benefit of him bringing pay home.  They relax by engaging in competitive ballroom dance. “It’s a great spectacle,” he laughs, “and it’s fun.” 
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!
 

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A special message
from LAF
Executive Director
Diana C. White
 
Last week, we celebrated Pro Bono Week, honoring all of the volunteers who stretch LAF's capacity to serve even more of the most vulnerable people in our community.  
 
From our in-house AmeriCorps VISTAs and pro bono counsel, like Peter Monahan, whose story you can read in this eNewsletter, to the Pro Bono Panel of attorneys and experts who take cases whenever we ask, to the teams from firms and corporations who staff our monthly clinics in the community, volunteers make our world go round.  The attorneys at DLA Piper and Discover Financial Services recently received a windfall of praise and media attention for their dedication to the Woodlawn Clinic.  
 
As always, on behalf of the staff and volunteers, the Board and YPB, and all the clients and communities we serve here at LAF, thank you for your continued support of our work.  When you invest your time or money in LAF, you are investing in making lasting change in the lives of people living in poverty across Chicagoland.  
 
Best,
 
Diana C. White
LAF Executive Director
 
 
Young Professionals Board Autumn Affair 
Join us for the annual wine and
spirits auction and Hawaii Raffle!
 
 
Join LAF's Young Professionals Board at Hubbard Inn for another exciting evening on behalf of LAF for the YPB's Autumn Affair on November 17th from 6-9pm.  The Autumn Affair 2016 will feature food, drinks, and our annual YPB wine and spirits auction - as well as the grand prize drawing for LAF's 2016 Hawaii Getaway!  Get your tickets here!
 
 
World Series Wager with Cleveland 
LAF and Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
Square Off for Our Baseball Teams
 

One of Chicago's beloved sports teams is in the championship to win it all, so once again, LAF has a wager on the line for our team's honor!  We're squaring off against the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland over the outcome of the 2016 World Series.  
 
From Chicago, LAF has promised a deep-dish pizza lunch to Cleveland Legal Aid’s staff if the Cubs can’t win their first World Series since 1908. Cleveland’s Legal Aid answered the challenge, offering Cleveland pierogis to the staff of LAF if the Indians lose the series.
 
LAF’s Executive Director, Diana C. White, explained “For the last 50 years, LAF has flown the W flag in the courtroom for people living in poverty in our community. We’re so excited to cheer on the Cubs and Chicago in the World Series!”
 
Cleveland Legal Aid’s Executive Director, Colleen M. Cotter, highlighted “Our attorneys hit home runs each day for our clients, so it is terrific to celebrate some sports success with LAF through this friendly bet.” Cotter adds, “The last time Cleveland won the World Series, our Legal Aid was celebrating its 43rd year of serving the community. I don’t think our attorneys back in 1948 ever imagined our Legal Aid would be celebrating its 111th year when we win our next World Series.”
 
Follow along all the fun on social media on LAF's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and Cleveland's website.  Go Cubs Go!  
 
Let's Do Lunch 
The Third in LAF's 2016 Brownbag Roundtable Series with the Veterans' Rights Project
 
Friday, November 11 - 12:00PM
LAF, 120 S. LaSalle St., 10th Fl.
1.0 CLE Credit Available
 
We all hear about the issues Military families and Veterans are facing. More than 1 in 10 homeless adults are veterans  and women veterans are the fastest growing homeless population in the country.  And of vets who are employed, nearly half of new veterans earn less than $30,000 annually. 
 
Join us on Veterans Day at lunchtime to hear more about our work with veterans and their families at a roundtable discussion with members of LAF's Veterans' Rights Team.  You’ll hear a few case studies from the attorneys, and talk about how legal remedies are crucial in stabilizing the lives of veterans and their families.   Feel free to bring your lunch and plenty of questions - it will be an interesting discussion.  
 
 
We hope to see you at LAF on Veterans' Day!
 
 
Get Ready for #GivingTuesday! 
On November 29th, Follow Us at #GTatLAF!
 
 
After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year November 29th is #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving to celebrate the impact of philanthropy through raising funds and raising awareness. Join us again this year across social media to celebrate 50 amazing years of LAF’s important work and kick off the end-of-year giving season with another rousing day of #GTatLAF.  We’ve set a goal to raise $50,000 to celebrate LAF’s 50th Anniversary, and we need your help! 
 
To get ready, be sure to like LAF on Facebook, and follow @ChicagoLAF on Twitter and @LAFChicago on Instagram.  You can keep up with the national campaign by following along at #GivingTuesday, statewide at #ILGive, and LAF’s own campaign at #GTatLAF and #LAF50for50.  Keep an eye out for brand new stories and never-before-seen videos across LAF’s social media!
On Giving Tuesday, make a donation at www.lafchicago.org and we’ll send you an email with a sign to share and language you can copy onto facebook, twitter, Instagram, linkedin, and personal emails.  Then post your selfie or a video with your sign to share the impact LAF has had over the last half century and raise awareness about the importance of standing up for people who live in poverty.    
We’ll be liking, sharing, thanking, and celebrating our work and our supporters all day, and we encourage you to get in on the fun!  
 
 
Don't Forget Your Raffle Tickets 
Don't Throw Away Your Shot at a Trip to Hawaii!
 
A big thank you to LAF supporter Beth Zieglerfor
her generous Grand Prize donation!
 
You could win a trip to Hawaii!  Get your raffle tickets here.  Our Grand Prize winner will win a week at a private condo in Maui, $1,000 towards their airfare, a free round of golf, and dinner for two!  The Grand Prize Drawing will be held at the LAF Young Professionals Board's Autumn Affair on November 17, 2016.  Winners need not be present to win, but you are definitely welcome to join us!
 
 
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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