On December 6th, PILI will recognize four award recipients for their efforts and dedication to pro bono and public interest law service in their communities. PILI’s Annual Awards Luncheon will bring together the Illinois legal community to celebrate the very best ideals of the profession. PILI will celebrate these award recipients as well as the countless lawyers, law students, legal professionals, law firms and corporations who dedicate themselves to providing legal assistance to those in need and ensuring access to justice for all.
Congratulations to this year’s award recipients!
As Associate Director of Legal Tech at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), Matt manages legal content, focusing on ILAO’s document assembly tools. After receiving his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law, he worked for 3 years as staff attorney at Legal Aid Chicago. He then spent 11 years doing IT support at Northwestern University, where he earned an M.S. in Computer Information Systems. At ILAO, Matt works tirelessly to make the law accessible for everyone, especially self-represented litigants (SRLs). He has an extensive background and training in technology that helps him create digital resources for SRLs and lawyers. He works closely with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts to create forms that are in plain language and easy to navigate. Matt was a “Double PILI,” serving as a Law Student Intern at Shriver Center on Poverty Law and Legal Aid Chicago.
Susan currently serves as Senior Director of ESG at Otis Worldwide Corporation where she provides counsel, thought leadership and trendspotting on all aspects of ESG and Sustainability. Previously, Susan was a member of McDonald’s Legal Department and its pro bono committee, heading up McDonald’s pro bono project with Equip for Equality. She has volunteered with the Senior Center project with the Center for Disability & Elder Law as well as the Street Law pro bono project and with the Constitutional Rights Foundation Lawyers in the Classroom project. Susan also volunteered at an expungement clinic hosted by Communities Partnering for Peace, an initiative sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services whose goal is to reduce gun violence in Chicago. Susan was a PILI Graduate Fellow at Lawyers for the Creative Arts.
Clifford is a partner at K&L Gates who represents companies and individuals operating in highly regulated industries such as financial markets and health care. Cliff has spent over 20 years of his career in public service through investigation work for the Department of Education, the Illinois Attorney General’s office, and the U.S. Attorney’s office. He has continued to use his investigation expertise to be of service to the public. Cliff spearheaded his firm’s commitment to the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC) starting in 2016. He has recruited over 30 attorneys who’ve dedicated thousands of hours to investigating these torture claims pro bono. He is a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois which provides representation to indigent clients charged with federal criminal offenses.
Zurich North America’s pro bono program was established in 2011. The program engages legal professionals across the company who provide a broad range of volunteer services, including advising nonprofits, representing individuals in immigration proceedings, drafting estate planning documents, and fielding intake calls for Equip for Equality. Zurich North America’s pro bono program sponsors a PILI Law Student Intern each year at Equip for Equality. In 2022, Zurich’s Pro Bono Program co-sponsored Legal Aid Chicago’s Virtual Uptown Clinic. Zurich has also hosted clinics regarding expungements, asylum, Powers of Attorney and Wills with the Center for Disability & Elder Law as well as working with Illinois Legal Aid Online and Legal Aid Chicago.