After fighting Trump’s travel ban, lawyers uniting again
October 5th, 2017
A Cook County judge hopes to recreate that January day when Chicago attorneys converged on O’Hare International Airport to help immigrants banned by President Donald Trump from entering the United States.
This time, instead of tackling immigration, Thomas Mulroy, who’s also president of the Chicago Bar Association, wants to address violence in Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods.
“It stunned me,” Mulroy said of that day at the airport when attorneys offered pro bono help. “It was on a weekend and lawyers dropped what they were doing to go to O’Hare with the most pure of intentions. There was nothing in it for them.”
Now as head of the CBA, Mulroy has invited lawyers to use their legal skills to work with community groups in neighborhoods needing legal expertise–anything from housing issues to divorce or expungements. He’s calling it “Lawyers in Action” initiative.
“We know lawyers can contribute money and tutoring, but we wanted to offer them a chance to contribute their unique skills as lawyers,” said Mulroy, whose judiciary work has him overseeing business disputes in the Law Division of the Daley Center.
On Nov. 3, lawyers will meet with 26 community service organizations at the CBA offices to talk about the legal needs of Chicago communities hit hard by violence.
“Good people in bad neighborhoods need our legal assistance and this is a chance to give them a hand,” he said.