CHICAGO LAW AND EDUCATION FOUNDATION
- Board Development
- Homeless & Housing
- Immigrants & Refugees
- Justice & Legal
Location2111 W 47th StCHICAGO, IL 60609 United States
CLEF believes in providing free legal services to Chicago’s undeserved communities. Our community lawyering model is specifically tailored to the unique needs of high-barrier populations in Chicago. By using schools and libraries as community centers, and providing legal services in those locations, CLEF helps low-income families more easily identify and locate the legal help they need. With our educational components, we further address their needs by using the unique access to schools and their communities.
CLEF was founded in 2010 by teacher/attorney Dennis Kass, who had previously initiated a free after-school legal clinic at his school, Little Village - Infinity High School. He knew of other legal programs in schools that had been initiated by other attorneys and organizations, programs that were only short-term over time. He started CLEF to provide sustainable long-term organizational support for legal clinics and similar legal educational programs in Chicago Public Schools. In its first year, CLEF had five full-time participating schools. CLEF’s overall goals and objectives include - (1) providing needed legal services and access to legal resources for CPS and CPL students and families, (2) educating low-income communities about their rights and resources, to better enable them to advocate for themselves and navigate their legal situations, and (3) advocating for the rights and opportunities of those same vulnerable communities. Our programs have included: free after-school and open-house legal clinics, and initiatives such as: Housing Stability, Immigration/DACA and Juvenile Criminal Record Expungement.