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An Online Event Supporting

October 10, 2020


Welcome to Justice Rocks! What a difference a few months makes. We had originally planned to get together and celebrate in person back in April, and we are thrilled you are here for our virtual party. While this evening is about trivia, there is nothing trivial about the work it supports. The last six months have been devastating and, while the pandemic has affected everyone, it has not affected everyone equally. Around the country, low-income residents have disproportionately borne the brunt of Covid. As we have all experienced, life during a pandemic is difficult; imagine that stress coupled with the possibilities of losing your income, healthcare, housing, and your loved ones. Since 2011, Pro Bono Network has been working with low-income clients to give them the access to legal representation that can make all the difference in their lives. And as we have noted, “Justice never rests. Even during a pandemic.� We have adapted the way we work with our legal partners to continue providing free legal services safely, efficiently, and online. The continued generous support from friends and neighbors like you during events like Justice Rocks allows Pro Bono Network to continue its mission of transforming lives by transforming access to legal representation. On behalf of the Justice Rocks Event Committee, PBN’s Board of Directors, and its Advisory Committee, thank you for being here and supporting Pro Bono Network. We hope you enjoy the evening! Marisa Green

Board of Directors Chair, Event Committee

Kristen Ritter

Development Committee Co-Chair, Event Committee

Heena Musabji

Director of Development Justice Rocks Event Committee Marisa Green Kristen Ritter Geegee Kan Laurel Steele Tracie Bedell


Pro Bono Network Linda Rio

Executive Director

Heena Musabji

Co-Founder Director of Development

Sheila Winkelman Pont Co-Founder Director of Programming

Bill Vogt

Administrative Volunteer Coordinator

Board of Directors

Jay Harris President

Tricia Marks Treasurer Christy Chapman Secretary Deb Abrahamson Tali Albukerk Marisa Green

Geegee Kan

Laura Kaufman Katie O’Brien Simrit Patel Donna Peel Tiffany Puckett Robin Spencer Laurel Steele

Advisory Council Nicole Milos President American Association of Insurance Services Annemarie Kill Secretary/Treasurer Avery | Kill, LLC Ayesha Ahmed Nexus Pharmaceuticals Adam Hirsch Roetzel & Andress Laura Jennings Novack and Macey LLP

Abbas A. Kanji Orrington Capital Sara O’Reilly Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting Kate L. Schaffer Stout Risius Ross, LLC. Jennifer Shapiro JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chris Whitfield McDonald’s Corporation


Chapman is proud to support the Pro Bono Network because everyone deserves access to justice. Justice rocks.

Charlotte • Chicago • New York • Salt Lake City • San Francisco • Washington, DC chapman.com

Attorney Advertising Material.


PBN Stories Your Support in Action Divorce in the Age of Zoom When PBN volunteers Sandra and Maciej filed a divorce case for their client in mid-March, they never imagined that in 7 months they would be appearing before the court, via something called “Zoom.” They never imagined that their client would be testifying from her own home; that the court interpreter and court reporter would be participating from their respective homes; and most stunningly, the judge would be conducting the hearing from her home with a cat casually strolling by behind her. When Cook County Courts shut down right after filing, there was much uncertainty about future court dates as they kept being pushed back. The attorneys stayed on top of the case and kept the client appraised of the changing situation. When the court finally a gave court date for the divorce prove up, the attorneys knew that besides preparing the client for her testimony, she also needed to be counseled on the technical aspects of appearing remotely. Sandra did a practice run through with the client of logging into Zoom and entering the proper codes. On the day of the hearing when all the parties were logged on, the client was on mute, so Sandra quickly told her how to unmute herself. The client had been separated from her husband for more than 18 years. She wanted to move on with her life, but had never got around to filing for a divorce because it was too complicated, too expensive and thus inaccessible. As Sandra noted, “She never would have been able to do this on her own because she didn’t have the means.” When she finally obtained her divorce from her kitchen table in early October, she was ecstatic and grateful. PBN is grateful to its volunteers as the work has continued uninterrupted throughout the pandemic and volunteers have stepped up to the changing dynamics of representation to make representation accessible to extremely grateful clients. Learn how you can make a difference by visiting probono.network.


Thompson Coburn IS TOTALLY COMMITTED to our communities and proud to support Pro Bono Network’s JUSTICE ROCKS.

thompsoncoburn.com The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Loeb & Loeb is proud to support the

Pro Bono Network and its efforts to bridge the justice gap by expanding and adapting pro bono programs to provide lawyers in our community with a variety of volunteer opportunities that help those most in need. Your dedication and commitment to making a difference is an inspiration to us all.

Los Angeles

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www.loeb.com


PBN Stories Your Support in Action Shackled to Your Mistakes Jamie is in his mid-30s. He had a rough childhood, but he has pushed through life and worked hard. He obtained his college degree and now wants to pursue higher education in the healthcare field. Jamie applies for a federal student loan, but is denied based on an arrest on his record from when he was 19. His arrest was not for a violent crime and never even led to a conviction, yet it is still preventing him from moving forward and leaving him feeling forever stuck and crippled from the difficulties of his early years. This is a common theme of so many clients that PBN serves through its new Expungement Project in partnership with Legal Aid Chicago. The vast majority of clients come from vulnerable and low-income neighborhoods. Their records often contain arrests, but no convictions, or convictions for non-violent crimes, false arrests, or arrests that occur because clients are present with a group of friends where an alleged crime occurs. Michelle, a volunteer attorney who has worked on several expungement petitions, states that expungement work is critically important because “one expungement case can change a person’s life forever”and in fact can change many people’s lives, if you consider the client’s family and loved ones. The work ultimately gives clients a “fresh start” in life. The vast majority of people requesting expungements were cited by law enforcement when they were in their late teens or early 20s, or as Michelle states, when they were “emerging adults,” still figuring out the world. Michelle passionately encourages attorneys to consider volunteering for the expungement project because a small investment of an attorney’s time to prepare an expungement petition can yield huge results, especially since the vast majority of expungement requests are approved. PBN’s setup with Legal Aid Chicago makes it easy for volunteers to take on this work and ultimately serve more clients. As Michelle notes, after an expungement petition is granted, a client has the opportunity to pursue jobs, education and other opportunities to make “a positive contribution” to the world and a positive contribution by any one of these clients is good for all of us.


PBN Projects

Your generous support ensures that, even in today’s challenging environment, PBN can continue its mission by adapting the ways we provide legal services and growing our reach in Cook and DuPage counties. PBN has adapted our projects to ensure that needs of low-income clients are being met in the areas of: Adult Guardianship Divorce Domestic Violence Expungement Immigration Lawyers in the Classroom Online Legal Counseling Senior Clinics Social Security Tenant Advocacy Wills To learn more or volunteer, visit us at probono.network.


There’s nothing trivial about achieving justice. Justice Rocks! Masters Law is a proud supporter of Pro Bono Network and the work their volunteer attorneys provide for vulnerable members of our community.

m a st ers law Ruth Masters, Attorney at Law Appellate Advocacy and Civil Litigation

7061 W. North Ave, #296, Oak Park, IL 60302 Tel 708-445-8031 www.ruthmasterslaw.com, rmasters@ruthmasterslaw.com


PBN Stories Your Support in Action Home Is Where the Heartache Is Most of us have relied on our homes as our sanctuaries, especially in the last few months, as we all do our best to navigate the pandemic. We have spent a lot more time than usual in our homes, whether it is working or managing our children’s schools remotely, or spending more quality time with our families, baking, and playing board games. For many in our community there has been no silver linings but layer after layer of worries, hardship, and loss. At the center of it all is home instability. PBN volunteers have been busy providing legal assistance to these clients through its Tenant Advocacy Project in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing. The clients are typically ones who pay most of their incomes towards rent. Due to the pandemic or some other issue beyond their control, their homes have been threatened. It could be inability to pay rent that causes lingering fears of homelessness, or dangerous housing conditions such as serious pest infestations that makes it stressful to be in the home. Housing issues affect entire families, causing immense stress and making the pandemic even more difficult to bear. Investing in housing stability is a priority for PBN as it has a ripple effect in ensuring stability in so many other aspects of clients’ lives and the community as a whole. Through its Tenant Advocacy Project, PBN volunteer attorneys significantly improve clients’ positions through contacting and negotiating with landlords, informing tenants of their rights, and other advocacy. As project manager Jillian observes, “PBN’s infrastructure mobilizes attorneys to volunteer and make a huge impact on clients’ lives.” She also notes that volunteer attorneys are also diligently preparing and positioning themselves urgently for the impending housing crisis when the eviction moratorium expires. Some attorneys have described a “nightmare scenario” due to the onslaught of evictions that are expected to be filed. Learn how you can make a difference by becoming a volunteer attorney. Visit us at probono.network.


Catering Provided By

New Rose Catering is your neighborhood full-service caterer, offering pay-as-you-go weekly dinner delivery, special event services for families, companies, and community organizations. If this evening’s dinner is your first experience with New Rose Catering, we hope you enjoy it! Learn more and join our mailing list at NewRoseCatering.com. Phone/Text: 708.261.6908 Facebook.com/NewRoseCatering Instagram: @NewRoseCatering


Thank You to These Generous Justice Rocks Entertainment Sponsors


Thank You to These Generous Justice Rocks Entertainment Sponsors


Thank You for Ensuring That Justice Rocks!

Presenting Sponsor Coplan + Crane

Justice Sponsor Chapman and Cutler LLP

PBN Sponsors Hanley Flight & Zimmerman LLC Loeb & Loeb LLP Masters Law Novack and Macey LLP StoneTurn Group, LLP Stout Risius Ross, LLC Thompson Coburn LLP

Entertainment Sponsors Alert Protective Services, LLC Avery | Kill, LLC Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP Burton Partners LLC Easy Tax Appeals Garrett Design JP Morgan Chase & Co. Oak Park Jewelers Partners in Effective Philanthropy Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP


About Pro Bono Network Like most places in the country, the legal bar in northern Illinois is unable to provide enough free legal assistance to satisfy the growing demand by those in need. The irony is that many attorneys in Chicagoland want to provide pro bono legal services, but lack a workable model to do so. This is especially true of attorneys who have decided to take time off to raise children, who retired, or who maintain law practices outside the Chicago city-limits. Out of the clients’ need and the attorneys’ desire, an idea was born—group these experienced attorneys together and remove barriers to volunteering to make it easier for attorneys to help those in need. As a result, more people in dire need are receiving help.

Profile for Tracie Bedell

Justice Rocks Program Book  

Justice Rocks Program Book  

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