Successful Event at First Bank of Highland Park

Throughout the month of August, HPHLAC was the featured non-profit at the First Bank of Highland Park Ruth Fell Wander Community Wall. We were honored to be selected and to have the opportunity for the community to learn more about the services we provide. Highlights on the wall included success stories about how the clinic’s volunteer attorneys have helped individuals and their families during its first year of operation. It included information about partner agencies that are integral to the clinic’s work.

On Thursday, August 25th, we celebrated our first year of operation and our display with members of the Board, volunteers, clients, and community members. The presentation included statements from our new Executive Director, Susan Shulman; our Managing Attorney, Kathryn Vanden Berk; Mayor Nancy Rotering; and a client who we successfully helped in a housing matter.

Thank you to the First Bank of Highland Park and all the attendees! We are so happy you could celebrate with us!

Student Board Hosts Naturalization Ceremony

On Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at Highland Park High School (HPHS), approximately 150 citizen candidates from 37 countries were sworn in as U.S. citizens at the first Highland Park – Highwood Legal Aid Clinic Naturalization Ceremony. The Honorable Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, administered the Oath of Allegiance. The Highland Park-Highwood Legal Aid Clinic (the Clinic) Student Board organized the ceremony. Clinic Founder, Mayor Nancy Rotering welcomed the new American citizens with a keynote address and Highland Park High School Principal Tom Koulentes also shared remarks. Following the ceremony, organizers agreed to make the event an annual occurrence.

“We are a nation of immigrants and are proud to welcome these new American citizens into our country with a ceremony that celebrates their achievement,” stated Mayor Nancy Rotering. “Our students have set a wonderful example for all of us by coordinating this unique opportunity. Their compassion and leadership have made a tangible difference in the lives of so many.”

Terry Horwitz Kass, Clinic Board Member and Student Board Founder explained, “The students at HPHS are aware of and care deeply about immigration issues. This past fall they put on a panel to discuss the current state of immigration laws. The students jumped at the opportunity to host a Naturalization Ceremony at HPHS. The students as well as the entire community are enriched by participating in such a meaningful ceremony.”

“Through this hands on experience, the Clinic Student Board engaged in a living civics lesson, built a greater appreciation of what it means to be an American citizen and are literally sharing their learning with others,” said Highland Park High School Principal Dr. Tom Koulentes. “Our students strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment within Highland Park High School. Today’s ceremony achieved that goal.”

The Clinic Student Board was founded by Clinic Board member Terry Horwitz Kass as an opportunity for high school students to gain hands on experience in providing advocacy for those in need while learning about the legal profession. Over 25 HPHS students participate. Members Daphne Kass and Sarah Fox organized the event and were recognized by Mayor Rotering at a recent Highland Park City Council Meeting.

Ald. Slavin – Highwood Farmers Market

The Highland Park-Highwood Legal Aid Clinic would like to thank Ald. Slavin for sharing his booth at the Highwood Farmer’s Market.  Pictured: Highwood Mayor Charlie Pecaro, board Chair Kathryn Vanden Berk, student board members, Exec. Dir. Karyn Davidman and Alderman Brad Slavin.