Welcome Elise & Mercedes!

The CBF is excited to welcome two new members to the CBF staff: Associate Director of Advocacy & Programs, Elise Tincher, and Program Manager for Illinois Justice Corps, Mercedes Boykin. Both Elise and Mercedes joined the CBF staff last month and have already proven to be integral members of the CBF team.

As Associate Director of Advocacy & Programs, Elise plays a lead role in the Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD) program and oversees the CBF’s larger advocacy efforts with the courts for policies promoting access to justice, including policies that make the courts and administrative agencies more user friendly for people without lawyers. She also oversees the CBF’s legislative advocacy work and leads the CBF’s pro bono efforts, working with lawyers, firms, corporations, the courts, and pro bono and legal aid organizations to maximize the impact of pro bono work. Most recently, Elise was Pro Bono Counsel at Kirkland & Ellis LLP where she managed the pro bono program in Kirkland’s Chicago and California offices. Prior to that, she was a Staff Attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, or LAF (n/k/a Legal Aid Chicago) in a variety of practice groups.

As Program Manager for Illinois JusticeCorps, Mercedes is responsible for overseeing all Illinois JusticeCorps operations for the Circuit Court of Cook County and the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Lake County. JusticeCorps is an invaluable resource in the courts, helping thousands of court patrons better understand and navigate the court system, prepare and file court papers, and connect with legal aid and other resources. Mercedes also assists with the CBF’s other court advocacy initiatives. Prior to joining the CBF, Mercedes earned her law degree from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 2021. During her time at Northern Illinois University, Mercedes participated in the Prisoner’s Rights Project.

Congratulations and welcome to Elise and Mercedes!