Caroline Manley

  • Hosted by The Center for Disability and Elder Law
  • Sponsored by The Chicago Bar Foundation
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Law school DePaul University College of Law
  • Issue area Elder Abuse
  • Fellowship class year 2012
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Caroline expanded access to legal services for low-income seniors by establishing and maintaining legal clinics at convenient locations in suburban Cook County and isolated Chicago neighborhoods.

Low-income seniors face myriad legal issues, such as probate, advanced directives, simple estate planning, guardianships, housing, and public benefits. Also, seniors are more likely to be consumer and financial fraud victims who need legal help to recover assets. For seniors living in suburban Cook County and isolated Chicago neighborhoods limited mobility, transportation expenses, and other factors create barriers to seeking free civil legal services in downtown Chicago, where most legal aid organizations are located. Economic challenges for the past several years have forced legal aid providers to close satellite offices. Holding legal clinics at senior centers and other places that seniors frequent near their homes allows them to access free civil legal services that help secure their independence and legal rights.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Caroline:

  • Launched ten legal clinics at senior centers and other community service buildings in suburban Cook County and isolated Chicago neighborhoods
  • Recruited and trained 40 volunteer lawyers, law students, and others who logged more than 400 pro bono hours staffing the clinics
  • Created a volunteer manual
  • Trained social workers at clinic sites to identify clients for legal services referral
  • Provided brief services and referrals to nearly 150 clients
  • Provided full representation to nearly 200 clients, assisting seniors with power of attorney documents, simple wills, collections defense, and landlord/tenant issues

Next Steps

Caroline is a Staff Attorney at her host organization, Center for Disability & Elder Law. She supervises the Senior Legal Assistance Clinics.

Media

40 Under Forty: Illinois Attorneys to Watch

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