Cortney joined the CBF in October 2016 and currently serves as Senior Program Manager for Illinois JusticeCorps. The JusticeCorps program enhances access to justice for the growing number of unrepresented people in the courts by empowering and training student volunteers and AmeriCorps members to help people without lawyers navigate the court system. As Senior Program Manager for Illinois JusticeCorps, Cortney is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the JusticeCorps sites located at the Richard J. Daley Center, The George N. Leighton Criminal Courthouse, the Cook County Sixth Municipal District Courthouse in Markham, and the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Waukegan. In addition, Cortney works on many other of the CBF’s advocacy initiatives, including working with the Illinois legislature and advocacy efforts with the courts for policies promoting access to justice.
Before joining the CBF, Cortney worked for the Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc., where she handled both immigration and domestic relations cases. In addition to maintaining her caseload, Cortney also served as Staff Liaison to CLC’s Auxiliary Board. An active member of her community, Cortney has been a volunteer at both Universidad Popular and Albany Park Community Center, assisting in teaching English as a Second Language and Adult Basic Education.
Cortney earned her law degree and Public Interest Law Certificate from the DePaul College of Law in 2014. During her time at DePaul, Cortney participated in the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic as well as the Housing and Community Development Clinic. In 2011, she graduated summa cum laude from Bowling Green State University, where she studied both English Literature and Spanish.
Originally from Ohio, Cortney has lived in Chicago since 2011. She currently resides in East Garfield Park, where she and her partner own a home and two dogs together.