Thank You Samira and Congrats Cortney!

October brought the bittersweet news that our Associate Director of Advocacy & Programs, Samira Nazem, would be leaving us at the end of the month to become a Principal Court Management Consultant with the National Center on State Courts (NCSC). Samira will be joining another esteemed CBF staff alum, Danielle Hirsch, at the NCSC.


Since joining the CBF in 2017, Samira played a central role in many innovative new programs and advocacy successes, including the Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt program and the online Pro Bono Opportunities Guide the CBF launched with Paladin.  She also played a lead role in all of the CBF’s ongoing court advocacy and pro bono efforts.

With Samira’s transition, Cortney Redman will become the CBF’s first dedicated Director of Court Advocacy. Cortney will play a lead role in the CBF’s growing efforts to make the court system more user-friendly, accessible, and fair for everyone, including serving as lead staff for the joint CBF/Circuit Court of Cook County Pro Se Advisory Committee. Prior to becoming Director of Court Advocacy, Cortney served as the CBF’s Senior Program Manager for Illinois JusticeCorps since 2016.

Elise Tincher, currently Pro Bono Counsel for Kirkland & Ellis LLP, will be joining the CBF in January as our new Associate Director for Advocacy & Programs.  We’ll have more to say about Elise when she gets started, and for now, congrats again to Cortney, thank you again Samira, and good luck in your new roles!