2009 – Steven B. Bashaw

Steve BashawIn his more than 30 years as a sole practitioner, Steven Bashaw has distinguished himself in many ways: as a well-respected real estate lawyer with a busy practice; as a prolific writer and frequent speaker throughout the community; and as an adjunct faculty member at both DePaul University College of Law and the College of DuPage. But it is his longstanding dedication as a pro bono lawyer and leader in the pro bono community that is truly remarkable.

Steve uses his expertise on foreclosure law in a myriad of ways to help low-income Chicago residents understand and resolve complicated legal issues. Decades ago, he began volunteering as a pro bono attorney defending mortgage foreclosure cases through the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation (CVLS). Since then, he has been instrumental in ensuring justice for countless low-income Chicago residents facing difficult foreclosure situations. In recent years, as the economic climate has caused foreclosure cases to rise exponentially, the need for more volunteer attorneys in this complex area has jumped as well. By training numerous pro bono attorneys in mortgage foreclosure defense, Steve has been instrumental in helping legal aid organizations to better meet these increased demands for legal assistance. He has developed a comprehensive guide and three-part foreclosure defense program for new attorneys, serves as CVLS’ primary outside resource for volunteer attorney training and support, provides training and advice to the bar and legal aid organizations, and serves as a resource to the courts on these issues.

Like Edward J. Lewis II, Steve not only does an amazing amount of pro bono work himself, he inspires and empowers countless other pro bono attorneys to get involved. Even with all the responsibilities that come with running his busy solo practice, Steve always makes time to answer questions and graciously extends his expertise to all who seek his assistance.