NSLAC Welcomes Sally Pissetzky Steele Director of Domestic Violence Law Practice

North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (NSLAC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sally Pissetzky Steele as the new Director of Domestic Violence Law Practice. She brings a wealth of experience spanning both private practice and public service and a deep commitment to serving and empowering underserved communities, particularly victims of domestic violence. 

In her new role as the Director of Domestic Violence Law Practice, Sally aims to further her dedication to helping victims of domestic violence, applying her comprehensive knowledge in domestic relations, and expanding her leadership in the legal services sector. Her unique blend of legal acumen, advocacy, and leadership skills positions her as a valuable asset to NSLAC’s mission. 

Sally is also an Adjunct Professor at her alma mater, the UIC School of Law (formerly the John Marshall Law School), where she teaches lawyering skills to first-year law students. Her commitment to education aligns seamlessly with NSLAC’s work to empower individuals through legal knowledge and representation. 

Executive Director Susan Shulman stated, “We are thrilled to welcome Sally as our new Director of Domestic Violence Law Practice. Her extensive experience, passion for serving the community, and commitment to leadership make her an excellent fit for our organization. We look forward to her contributions in advancing our mission and providing crucial support to those in need." 

Sally Pissetzky Steele holds a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School and a B.A. in Speech Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additionally, she has received a certificate in Divorce Mediation from the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies. 

As a devoted wife of a fellow family law attorney and mother of two young boys, Sally draws inspiration from her family, motivating her to embody qualities of humility, kindness, hard work, and commitment to making the world a better and more inclusive place. 

Director of Domestic Violence
Free Power of Attorney Clinic In north suburban Cook County and Lake County

A Comprehensive Walkthrough of NSLAC’s Free Power of Attorney Clinics 

Empowering Communities: A Comprehensive Walkthrough of NSLAC's Free Power of Attorney Clinics 

Since 2018, North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (NSLAC) has been providing essential free Power of Attorney (POA) clinics to residents in north suburban Cook County and Lake County. NSLAC’s POA clinics play a pivotal role in empowering low-income residents by providing free legal services that contribute to their health and financial planning. Whether you have already scheduled an appointment or are looking for more information, the details below will help you navigate what to expect from a POA clinic.  

What types of Power of Attorney does NSLAC help with?  

NSLAC assists in preparing documents for POA for healthcare and POA for property. You can learn more about these different types of POAs HERE 

Where are NSLAC’s Power of Attorney clinics held?  

North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic offers year-round free Power of Attorney clinics at surrounding community senior centers, public libraries, and community colleges throughout north suburban Cook County and Lake County. For specific information on the location of the next POA clinic, please be in touch with NSLAC.  

What does the NSLAC’s POA clinic process look like? 

On the day of your appointment, NSLAC volunteers will explain the document (s), assist you in signing, witnessing, and notarizing your POA, ensuring you walk out with completed documents for distribution. 

How can I schedule an appointment for an NSLAC POA clinic? 

To effectively reach the community, NSLAC may occasionally collaborate with a partner organization to host a clinic. Depending on the nature of the POA clinic, registration may vary. If you are interested in registering for a POA clinic, you may call our offices at 847-737-4042 and an intake specialist will book you for our next available clinic. Occasionally, one of our partners may handle registration. If uncertain about whom to contact, our office will gladly connect you to the right place. You may also find additional information on upcoming POA clinics HERE. 

Are there eligibility requirements to receive free Power of Attorney services?  

Yes. Before your appointment, a screening process will be conducted to ensure that you meet NSLAC eligibility requirements. NSLAC will screen for income and service area. To qualify for NSLAC free legal aid services, you must be a low-income resident living in north suburban Cook County or Lake County.  

What documentation should I bring to my POA appointment?  

In most cases, the client should only come prepared with a valid form of identification. However, if the client’s situation is more complex, involving more than one bank account or property holdings, the client should also bring other important bank statements or property documents. If you are unsure about your situation, please contact our offices and we will be happy to answer any questions.  

Who will I talk to during my consultation?  

On the day of your consultation, you will meet with an attorney and a non-attorney volunteer or paralegal. The non-attorney volunteer or paralegal will help fill out forms and/or serve as an interpreter. Your attorney will help answer any questions regarding your POA and help you leave with completed POA forms.  

What forms will I fill out during my POA consultation?  

During your consultation, an attorney and a non-attorney volunteer or paralegal will assist in filling out a few forms, including an Intake Form, Limited Client Agreement, and the Illinois Statutory POA forms.  

What questions will I be asked during my POA consultation?  

During your POA consultation, you will be asked to name your agent for healthcare and for property. You will need the person’s full name, phone number, and mailing address. It is important to have this information ready, as it forms the basis for a smooth discussion about your specific POA requirements. Learn more about POA agents HERE.  

Does my chosen agent need to be present during my POA consultation? 

No. Your agent does not need to be present during your consultation. To ensure that the client's preferences and POA documents accurately reflect the wishes and intentions of the person creating them, we recommend that the client attend alone. If you are accompanied by someone, they may wait in an outside area during the consultation to maintain confidentiality and privacy. They may join you for your appointment only if you give confirmation that you would like them present. 

How long will my POA consultation take?  

POA consultations typically last an hour. Within this timeframe, you can draft either a POA for healthcare, a POA for property, or both. 

Can I notarize my POA documents at the clinic?  

Yes. NSLAC will provide an on-site volunteer notary during your consultation to assist you in leaving with completed POAs. However, if a volunteer notary is unavailable during the clinic, the client will need to arrange for an external notary to finalize the POA. 

What should I do with my completed POA?  

After signing and notarizing your POA, it is important to distribute copies of your POA to relevant parties, such as your Agent and any successor Agents, your bank, your primary care physician, and anyone other than your regular doctor.  

Have additional questions?  

If you have more questions regarding POA clinics, please call NSLAC at 847-737-4042 or email probono@nslegalaid.org. Interpreters are available upon request in all languages. Services are available regardless of immigration status. NSLAC also offers free legal aid services in the areas of immigration, domestic violence, and housing 

Free legal aid for migrants arrivals

NSLAC Provides Free Legal Aid to Migrant Arrivals

As migrants from South and Central America continue to make their way to Chicago and surrounding suburbs, experts warn migrants to beware of scam lawyers when they apply for work permits. NSLAC continues to be a trusted resource for migrant arrivals, providing essential free immigration legal aid in north suburban Cook County and Lake County. Click HERE to read the full story.

Free legal aid for migrants arrivals

On The News: As Demand For Asylum Grows, NSLAC Continues To Provide Free Legal Aid

The surge of recent migrant arrivals from Central and South America to Lake County and Cook County has presented notable challenges, particularly as the demand for immigration legal aid continues to grow. Despite the challenges, NSLAC stands firm in its commitment to providing free legal services to low-income and at-risk individuals, and families. Thank you to the Chicago Tribune for shining a light on the challenges faced by our immigrant neighbors. Read the full story HERE.

What is a Power of Attorney?

What is a Power of Attorney and Why Do I Need One?

What is a Power of Attorney and Why Do I Need One|Free

POA Legal Services

 

Navigating life's unexpected challenges can be difficult, particularly when handling crucial personal affairs. In these unforeseen moments, the significance of a Power of Attorney (POA) cannot be overstated. Establishing a POA provides a formal way to safeguard your interests and alleviate potential burdens on your loved ones while shielding them from undue obstacles.  

What is a Power of Attorney?  

The term Power of Attorney, also known as a POA, refers to a legal document that gives another person (the “Agent”) the ability to make health care or financial/property decisions on your behalf if you (the “Principal”) become incapacitated or unable to make decisions on your own. 

Who can be my Agent? 

Your Agent can be a family member, friend, or other person who is: 

  • Over the age of 18, 
  • Able to make his or her own decisions, 
  • Knows you well, 
  • You have confidence that this person will act in your best interests and follow through with your wishes, even if they may not personally agree with them, 
  • Willing to be there for you and is open to taking on this important role. 

What are the different types of Power of Attorney?  

There are several types of power of attorney, each serving a specific purpose. However, the two most common types include POA for Healthcare and POA for Property.  

A POA for healthcare is a document that grants the agent the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal in case they are unable to do so.  

A  POA for property is a legal document that allows an agent to manage financial and legal matters on the principal's behalf. This may include handling banking transactions, managing investments, paying bills, buying, or selling real estate, and making legal decisions related to financial matters. 

What does the Power of Attorney process look like? 

The power of attorney process involves:  
  1. Choosing an agent: Selecting a trustworthy individual to act on your behalf.
  2. Drafting the document: Outlining the specific powers and conditions of the POA. 
  3. Signing and notarizing: Executing the document in compliance with legal requirements. 
  4. Distributing copies: Providing copies to relevant parties, such as your Agent, your bank, your primary care physician and anyone other than your regular doctor.

Why are Powers of Attorney important?  

A Power of Attorney provides individuals with peace of mind and authority when faced with the unexpected. Once a POA is set in motion, the chosen agent assumes the responsibility of making medical and financial decisions in accordance with the principal's wishes. Without careful planning, these difficult decisions could be entrusted to family members, friends, or the state. 

Can NSLAC help me set up a Power of Attorney? 

Yes, North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic offers year-round POA clinics at surrounding community senior centers, public libraries, and community colleges. Our attorneys provide free legal assistance in drafting and notarizing POAs for health care and property management to community members living in north suburban Cook County, IL, or Lake County, IL. You can find upcoming POA clinics HERE or by calling 847 737-4042. NSLAC also offers free legal services in the areas of immigration, housing, and domestic violence. 

TPS for Ukraine

TPS for Ukraine: Frequently Asked Questions

TPS for Ukraine: Frequently Asked Questions

Free Legal Immigration Services

In response to Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia and extraordinary conditions that prevent the safe return of tens of thousands of Ukrainians, the Department of Homeland Security has extended and redesignated Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This extension opens the door for an additional 166,700 Ukrainians to obtain work permits and protection against deportations. North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic provides free legal immigration services to residents of north suburban Cook County, IL, or Lake County, IL, looking to file TPS for Ukraine.

What is TPS?

Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security when the conditions of a foreign country temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely or where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. This may be because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster or epidemic, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

When do I apply for TPS?

You can apply for TPS during the registration period determined by USCIS.

For Ukraine, the registration period is August 21, 2023 to April 19, 2025.

How do I apply for TPS?

File Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status along with all necessary evidence and fees (or fee waiver form) with USCIS. The filing can either be done online or through the mail. If you also want to apply for employment authorization, you will need to file form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with the necessary evidence and fees (or fee waiver form). The forms, breakdown of fees, instructions for mailing, and other information can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status.

Can I file one TPS I-821 form for my entire family?

No, each person who qualifies for TPS must submit a separate Form I-821. This includes minor children and spouses.

What do I need to file for TPS?

You need identity/nationality evidence, date of entry evidence, and continuous residence evidence.

Examples include:

  • Identity/Nationality: copy of your passport, copy of your birth certificate, and/or any national identity document that has your photograph.
  • Date of Entry: copy of your passport, I-94 Arrival/Departure Record; or copies of documents specified in the Continuous Residence section below.
  • Continuous Residence: leases, utility bills, medical records, mailed correspondence, letters from church/organization to confirm that they have been present in the U.S., etc.

These must include the appropriate dates and the name of the applicant.

Continuous residence requirement starts on August 16, 2023.

How long does TPS take to receive after filing?

Processing times vary greatly depending on country of origin and backlog. You can typically expect to wait between 6 and 18 months.

What are the benefits of TPS?

  • You are not removable from the United States and cannot be detained based on your immigration status.
  • You can obtain employment authorization (EAD.)
  • You may be granted travel authorization.

Can I travel overseas?

You may be granted travel authorization whether you have a pending TPS case, or you have been granted TPS. You must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, while in the U.S. If your request to travel is granted, you will be issued a travel document.

Can I receive public benefits if I have TPS?

You are not eligible for public benefits as a TPS beneficiary, but you may receive public benefits if you maintain parole status while on TPS.

Can I go to school while on TPS?

Yes, TPS beneficiaries can attend colleges and universities while in the U.S. If, however, your TPS status ends while you’re in school, you will need another status (like a student visa) to continue your program.

Is TPS permanent status?

It is not a permanent status and does not lead to lawful permanent residency or citizenship. It is, however, renewable until the Department of Homeland Security terminates the TPS designation for your country.

How can I get permanent status?

To get permanent status, you will need to qualify and apply for a method of relief, such as asylum or a family petition. TPS does not prevent you from applying for other statuses.

How do I maintain TPS status?

Once you are granted TPS, you must re-register during each re-registration period to maintain your status. This means you will complete and file the Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status form during the re-registration period.

Can I ever lose TPS status?

If you travel abroad without receiving travel authorization, you could lose your TPS status. Additionally, if you fail to re-register during the re-registration window, you could also lose status. Lastly, if DHS terminates the program for your country, your status will end.

I already have work authorization. Should I apply for TPS?

Because you can apply for TPS while you have another status, it can be used as a “backup status.” TPS will only end if DHS stops extending the program to your country, so it is typically renewable for many years. If you have TPS as a “backup status” and something happens to your other status that provides your work authorization, you won’t be removable and will remain in lawful status.

What happens if my TPS application is not processed before my current status expires?

While your TPS application is pending, you will not accrue unlawful status. Once your TPS is approved, you will be authorized to work.

 If I am granted TPS, when do I need to renew my TPS status?

On your TPS approval notice, there will be an expiration date that indicates when you need to renew. We recommend you file your renewal at least 6 months prior to the expiration date.

What if I have other questions?

This FAQ guide is meant to provide general information. We recommend speaking with a qualified immigration attorney about your options.

Can NSLAC help me apply for TPS?

Yes. Making legal assistance accessible to all communities is our priority. NSLAC hosts TPS clinics regularly and in a variety of accessible locations, ensuring that residents of north suburban Cook County and Lake County have convenient access to these vital services. If you or someone you know needs legal assistance, please be in touch with NSLAC at 847 737 4042 or email info@nslegalaid.org. NSLAC also offers free legal services in the areas of housing and domestic violence. Interpreters are available upon request in all languages. Services are available regardless of immigration status.