2017 – Kathleen Robson Gordon and Salvador J. Lopez

Kathleen Robson Gordon and Sal Lopez started their two-partner law firm in 2012 with the explicit goal to make pro bono an essential component from day one. Hundreds of pro bono cases later and countless clients impacted, the results have been simply extraordinary in just their first five years together.

True to their mission, Kathleen and Sal collectively have handled 129 cases for CVLS alone. That by itself would merit special recognition, yet it is just the start of their pro bono work. Other highlights include the hundreds of hours they have volunteered to help people facing foreclosure and related issues at the Chancery Advice Desk in the Daley Center and their consistent volunteer work at the Bankruptcy Court Help Desk in the federal courthouse.

Beyond the incredible impact they are having through their direct pro bono service, Kathleen and Sal are extending that impact even further by always being available to mentor other pro bono lawyers on often complex foreclosure and bankruptcy law issues. They are dedicated to serving their communities through board service and other activities as well. And they do it all with perennial good humor, wisdom, and a generous spirit.

One of their nominators summed up their tremendous impact in the foreclosure arena this way: “Their assistance really made a quantum difference in the landscape of foreclosure in Cook County. Lender attorneys knew that vigorous and professional legal representation for borrowers was now going to be a fact of life in pursuing foreclosures. The value of their services is beyond measure.”

Many think that solo and small firm lawyers can’t do much pro bono because they lack the structure and resources that larger firms and legal departments can provide. Kathleen and Sal are proving otherwise every day and setting a shining example for lawyers in all practice settings in the true spirit of Edward J. Lewis II.