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Katten Legal Clinic at Jose de Diego Community Academy Profiled by Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Firm News | July 21, 2014

The Katten Legal Clinic at Jose de Diego Community Academy, a first-of-its-kind legal aid clinic in a public school, was the focus of a special feature in the July 17, 2014, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The clinic meets on the third Wednesday of every month during the school year, addressing legal issues from landlord-tenant disputes and housing matters to wills, expungements, and consumer and family law. Jonathan Baum, Director of Pro Bono Services, explained that a portion of the school basement was remodeled into a full-fledged law office: "The infrastructure is challenging, but it's incredibly rewarding." At least four Katten attorneys participate each month, including Commercial Finance associate Elizabeth Hermann Smith who noted that "It's very different to sit down with a person who's bringing to you some personal issue, often something they've had going on for years." Intellectual Property staff attorney Kimberly Beis concurred, adding, "We work at the clinic because we want to, because we care. Sometimes we are the first person that has really listened to what it is [the clinic clients] are trying to accomplish or the problems that they have." Katten's pro bono work through the clinic was recently honored with the 2014 Beacon of Justice award from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, which is given to law firms that have created and implemented innovative strategies to improve life outcomes for those in need. 

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