News Tag: Colleague Corner


October 12, 2018

Clearing Voting Barriers for Chicagoans with Disabilities

Imagine you are excited about casting your ballot on Election Day and are turned away simply because you have a disability. Or imagine having to cast your ballot where other voters can see exactly how you vote.

Cynthia, a voter with a disability, was unable to use the accessible electronic voting machine at her polling place because the election judges did not know how to operate it. She was forced to cast her ballot sitting at a table in plain view of other voters with absolutely no privacy. Her only other option was to not vote at all. Cynthia’s experience illustrates the type of barriers people with disabilities routinely face when they seek to vote but are denied access to the election process.

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June 8, 2016

Unlimited Legal Training Thanks to PLI and Leonard McKenzie

Legal Aid Academy Colleague Corner
By Meg Benson, Co-Chair of the CBF Legal Aid Academy Advisory Committee

Leonard McKenzie loves legal aid lawyers. At least in the professional sense. He admires the work they do and wants to help them help their clients better.

Leonard is the Scholarship/Pro Bono Privileged Membership Manager for the Practising Law Institute, a national continuing legal education and professional training organization in New York. PLI offers attorneys hundreds of accredited CLE programming, both in person, on the web and on demand. Many programs are relevant to legal aid and pro bono attorneys. In fact, just a quick glance at the current schedule shows programs for working with homeless youth, serving on a nonprofit board, consumer law for pro bono clients, defending immigration proceedings and a public interest boot camp. There are scores more.

Leonard’s job is to make sure legal aid lawyers get these programs for free. Yes, free.

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February 8, 2016

The Honorable Mark A. Drummond: A Triple Threat

Legal Aid Academy Colleague Corner
By Meg Benson, Co-Chair of the CBF Legal Aid Academy Advisory Committee

Mark Drummond is a trial lawyer, a jurist and a teacher. All at once.

Judge Drummond has been on the bench in west-central Illinois’ 8th Judicial Circuit since 1999. Sitting in Quincy, on the banks of the Mississippi River, he presides over both civil and criminal trials.

We know that once an attorney puts on that black robe, he or she has to put aside the advocacy of litigation to remain impartial and objective. However, many attorneys believe that, Once a trial lawyer, always a trial lawyer and, underneath this judge’s black robe, beats the passionate heart of a trial attorney. As a result, in addition to serving as a judge in Quincy, he teaches litigation skills to attorneys around the world.

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