2013 Interns of the Year

From Left: Samria Nazem, LCBH Pro Bono Coordinator; Kira Wilpone-Jordan; Rachel; DuJuan Dixon; Mark Swartz, LCBH Legal Director; Michael Griffin; Anthony G. Hopp, LCBH Board President; Cheryl Lawrence, LCBH Executive Director

Affordable Housing Preservation, Kira Wilpone-Jordan

Kira Wilpone-Jordan joined LCBH in the Summer of 2013 as an intern with the Affordable Housing Preservation Project (AHPP). Though only a second year law student, Kira was soon educating our staff attorneys about relevant laws and helping us research and understand complex issues. Her patience and empathy made her a natural for client intake interviews. Her solid grasp of complicated legal issues and attentive eye for detail made her a welcome addition to legal team meetings. According to Victoria Ogunsanya, LCBH Staff Attorney, “Kira is clearly intelligent, enthusiastic and hard working. She also possesses the quintessential skills of a legal aid advocate; she is understanding and not afraid to think creatively about solving the unique problems that our clients face. I believe that Kira is and will continue to be a great asset to the legal community.” Kira continues her studies at the University of Chicago Law School where she pursues her passion for housing justice through an externship with the Housing Practice Group at the Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF).

Eviction Defense, Michael Griffin

Michael Griffin is a third-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law who first started volunteering with LCBH in the fall of 2012. Michael, a long-time Chicago renter, understood the importance of landlord-tenant law and thought volunteering at LCBH would be a wonderful way to develop valuable litigation experience. Michael has volunteered over 500 hours at LCBH a gaining invaluable courtroom experience including motion practice and bench and jury trials. While at LCBH Michael has not only helped numerous renters, but won a challenging jury trial and wrote the winning brief for a critical appellate case. LCBH is grateful for Michael’s continuous dedication and great work.

Paralegal, DuJuan Dixon

DuJuan was referred to LCBH from the Westside Health Authority’s Re-Entry and Employment Services Program. He had some experience in law libraries doing research and clerical legal work, and wanted to enhance his resume by gaining experience in litigation support. During his time at LCBH he did excellent work in legal support and intake. Legal Administrator Eileen Mulrenin says, “of all the interns and volunteers from this year, DuJuan worked the hardest, was the most devoted, and he could do an intake interview in less than 20 minutes without missing a single piece of vital information. I was very impressed with his work.” Tonight, we are excited to present DuJuan with this first time award!

Supportive Services, Rachel

Rachel served as a social work intern with LCBH during the 2012-2013 academic year where she worked as a case manager for Supportive Services. She recently earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology and is now pursuing her Master’s at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. Rachel has the reputation of being a fantastic team player, always willing to assist anyone, whether a tenant or a fellow colleague. Rachel also contributed to LCBH by making improvements to systems and procedures, thereby expanding upon effective Supportive Services advocacy. According to John-Paul Beals, Supportive Services Director at LCBH, “Working with Rachel this last year was an honor and a delight. It’s not every day that a supervisor has someone working for him that makes him SO much better! Rachel did that for me! And not only for me, but for our whole team! Thanks to Rachel and her teammates, Supportive Services at LCBH is better than ever!”