Blog: Interns

Welcome to LCBH’s Blog. Our blog delivers original articles written by our staff, interns and volunteers. We strive to provide informative stories about the work we do on behalf of Chicago renters and the issues renters face.

Intern Spotlight: Michael Griffin

Michael (center) pictured with staff attorneys Frank Avellone (left) and Noah Magaram (right)

Michael Griffin is a third-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Looking for litigation experience, Michael found LCBH’s internship posting on the Illinois Legal Aid Online website (http://www.illinoislegalaidonline.org/). As a long-time Chicago renter, he had an interest in landlord-tenant law and thought it would be a good fit. We did too, and Michael joined our team of legal interns in the fall of 2012.

“When I started, I really didn’t know the difference between a motion and a pleading,” recounts Michael. However, Michael was given real cases immediately and was drafting both motions and pleadings within a few weeks. He was encouraged to dive into assignments, learn the procedural and substantive laws, and confer with senior LCBH attorneys who could assist with creating a better work product.

“I really appreciate that I’ve gotten such great practical experience,” said Michael, who recently won his first jury trial (see story this issue). “A lot of attorneys never set foot in a court room, let alone chair and win a jury trial.” LCBH staff attorney Noah Magaram supported Michael’s interests and was soon sending him cases that had jury potential for preparation.”

Intern Spotlight: Michael Griffin

Michael (center) pictured with staff attorneys Frank Avellone (left) and Noah Magaram (right)

Michael Griffin is a third-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Looking for litigation experience, Michael found LCBH’s internship posting on the Illinois Legal Aid Online website (http://www.illinoislegalaidonline.org/). As a long-time Chicago renter, he had an interest in landlord-tenant law and thought it would be a good fit. We did too, and Michael joined our team of legal interns in the fall of 2012.

“When I started, I really didn’t know the difference between a motion and a pleading,” recounts Michael. However, Michael was given real cases immediately and was drafting both motions and pleadings within a few weeks. He was encouraged to dive into assignments, learn the procedural and substantive laws, and confer with senior LCBH attorneys who could assist with creating a better work product.

“I really appreciate that I’ve gotten such great practical experience,” said Michael, who recently won his first jury trial (see story this issue). “A lot of attorneys never set foot in a court room, let alone chair and win a jury trial.” LCBH staff attorney Noah Magaram supported Michael’s interests and was soon sending him cases that had jury potential for preparation.”

Hands

This summer LCBH’s Supportive Services program is very fortunate to have two new, and two returning interns to help us out.
- Anais Cotillas
- Grace Pai
- Loretta Maestranzi
- Evelyn Buehler
Welcome to all four of you, everyone at LCBH hopes you enjoy your summer with us.

Couple struggle with housing issues

Do you remember how long your last lease was? A page or two? It probably wasn’t 20+ pages, the typical length of a lease for a resident of subsidized housing in Chicago.

What’s in those lengthy leases? Rules. To qualify for subsidized housing, residents must go through a rigorous background check and application process.

Once approved, residents are asked to sign paperwork agreeing to abide by a comprehensive set of rules. Any violation is grounds for eviction.

Many of the rules that these residents must abide by seem quite reasonable. There are the standard prohibitions on noise and damage. There are bans on criminal conduct, drug use, and gang activity. But other rules seem unnecessarily restrictive, especially to anyone used to the freedom of the private housing market. The following are actual rules enforced in some Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) properties:

Sharon King Receives First Legacy Award

Kathy Clark Honored as Tenant Advocate of the Year
Kathleen Clark and Sharon King

As LCBH looks forward to the year ahead, increasing staff and services that will reach many more renters throughout Illinois, it is a bittersweet time as we say so long to two very important people who have been a part of the LCBH family for a very long time. Sharon King and Kathy Clark both retired this year; each leaving a legacy that sustains the agency well into the future ensuring many more people will have meaningful access to the judicial process to provide safe, decent affordable housing for their families.