The CBF mourns the passing of Rich Cozzola, a longtime friend, leader, and mentor in the Chicago legal aid community. The 2011 recipient of the CBF’s prestigious Thomas H. Morsch Public Service Award, Rich dedicated his career to public service and to bettering the lives of vulnerable children and was a genuinely good guy. In his 25 years working for Legal Aid Chicago (f/k/a LAF), Rich helped the lives of countless children experiencing family separation, injustices in the public school system, and expungement with an inspiring level of empathy and passion.
Beyond being a tireless advocate for children, Rich was also an enthusiastic and skilled teacher and mentor to law students and attorneys from Legal Aid Chicago and throughout the country. He led numerous skills trainings for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, the ABA Center on Children and the Law, and various Chicago law schools. Because of Rich’s mentorship, the next generation of legal aid lawyers will be better equipped to be compassionate advocates for low-income and disadvantaged people in our community.
We encourage those who want to join in honoring a life well lived to attend his memorial service on Thursday, August 25 or to make a contribution to a charitable organization. Details for both the service and how to donate are in his obituary.