When will the new name take effect?
Through February 2018, the Clinic will be known as the Highland Park – Highwood Legal Aid Clinic. The new name will take effect on March 13, 2019 and be announced via all available communication modalities and changed throughout the organization.
What is the mission and vision of the Clinic?
The mission of the Clinic is to provide accessible, quality pro-bono legal services in the areas of immigration, domestic violence, and housing to give those in need of access to justice the opportunity to live productive and secure lives.
The vision for the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic is recognized for engaging exceptional professionals who provide accessible, high quality, comprehensive pro bono legal representation that is responsive to the needs of individuals and families.
Why is the Clinic changing the name, mission, and vision?
As part of the Clinic’s 2017 Strategic Plan, the Board of Directors agreed to revise the Clinic’s mission, create a brand statement and vision statement, and change the name to more accurately reflect the explosive growth. The implementation of a geographic expansion offered an optimal moment in time to embark on both the process and a name change. The statements developed are meant to guide, inspire, engage, and support the organization. The new name more accurately reflects the overall purpose of the organization and flexibility in the future to meet the needs of individuals and families.
What will be different at Clinic and what will remain the same?
Since the day the Clinic opened, we have helped immigrants stay in this country, become citizens, and we have quickly responded to the changes in policy and law; we have helped domestic violence victims receive orders of protection and escape abusive relationships; and helped tenants stay in their home and avoid wrongful eviction. In addition, we have partnered with organizations and law firms to present educational programming for clients, and the public.
The Clinic will continue to provide vital pro-bono legal services to those in need in the areas of immigration, domestic violence, and housing. The Clinic will also continue and expand our partnerships and relationship as well as provide educational opportunities. The geographic area expansion simply allows the Clinic to reach and help a greater number of people. Services will continue to be easily accessed and provided by diverse and professional staff and volunteers who successfully advocate for legal solutions.
How were these decisions made?
The Clinic’s Board of Directors is comprised of 14 diverse professionals who set policy, serve as ambassadors, educate the community, financially support the Clinic, and build relationships that support the Clinic’s mission. The revised mission, creation of a vision and changing of the name was an internal decision made by the board of directors driven by the needs of individuals and communities. Specific to the name change, the Clinic adhered to Federal and State of Illinois governing not-for-profit organizations. In addition, the name change is permitted, was agreed to by the Board of Directors, and is reflected in the Clinic’s bylaws.
Where is the Clinic expanding and why?
In addition to serving Highland Park, Highwood, Bannockburn, Deerfield, and Lake Forest, the Clinic will now serve Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Winnetka, and Glencoe. The need/demand in these areas has been identified and the Clinic has been sought out assist those in need of access to justice.
Will the Clinic offices move?
No. The Clinic offices will remain at 491 Laurel Avenue. A decision to add satellite offices and/or move the main office to a location in Highland Park or Highwood will be reviewed regularly.
Will you still serve those who live in Highland Park and Highwood?
Yes. The majority of our clients are those who live or work in Highland Park and Highwood. This is our home base and we are proud that we are a model for other towns and cities. We look forward to providing the same exceptional free legal service while continuing to serve and expand our base of clients as the need exists and funding allows. The Clinic does not accept Federal funding, allowing all clients, regardless of immigration status, to be served in any town or city.
How do can I support the Clinic?
Thanks to contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and law firms, the Clinic has the resources to help those in need of free legal services and expand to meet the needs of even more individuals and families. In addition, there are opportunities to volunteer. Please contact Executive Director Susan Shulman at 847 737 4042.