Justice Circle honors three attorneys for pro bono service

Honorees Paul Strauss, Claudia Flores and Matt Piers.

“Because they have nowhere to go and are trying to survive” homeless people on the street often face unjust arrest, Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli said during her remarks at Thursday’s Justice Circle reception.

The Law Project at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless honored three attorneys who donated hundreds of hours working pro bono with our legal staff, negotiating a 2015 city policy to protect the belongings of homeless people who live outdoors. 

Honored were Matthew J. Piers, president of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd.; Claudia Flores, formerly of Hughes Socol and now director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School; and Paul Strauss, co-director of litigation at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc.

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli speaking at the Justice Circle reception Thursday.
Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli speaking at the Justice Circle reception Thursday. (Photos by Claire Sloss)

Elizabeth Ball-Crudup, a client assisted by the settlement, told the gathering, “I now give back to my community. I am the director of food programs at Uptown Baptist Church.

“The Law Project continues to be important for people who are homeless today, and they are still there for us.”

Through the Justice Circle, legal professionals and law firms support the work of the Law Project, including its Youth Futures mobile legal aid clinic.

“The Law Project is extremely grateful to our supporters,” said its director, Patricia Nix-Hodes. “Our work would simply not be possible without support from our funders, board members, pro bono volunteers and Justice Circle members. We are pleased to report that this year, the Justice Circle raised 66% more than last year.”

The Feb. 25 evening reception was hosted at the offices of Baker & McKenzie, which which the Law Project collaborated in writing a homeless youth manual released last year.