This summer, five legal interns spent their summer working with Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH), advocating for the rights of renters. Without these students, and recent graduates, who come to spend their summer with us, LCBH would have a tough time offering the legal services our clients need to resolve their housing issues. We asked each intern to share highlights from their LCBH experiences this summer:
Chloe Noonan came from Boston University School of Law to work with LCBH’s affordable housing preservation efforts. As part of her internship, Chloe regularly travels to buildings throughout Chicago to work with tenant unions. One of her favorite collaborations has been with a group of tenants on the south side living in a building that had fallen into disrepair. Chloe worked with the group to help them identify their common goals and used her knowledge of housing law to empower them to push for better management in the building.
Michaela Kabat completed her first year at University of Chicago Law School, and joined LCBH for the summer because of her strong interest in housing, a universal issue that affects every individual and community. Her favorite part of the summer has been interviewing and counseling tenants. She enjoys the one-on-one interaction with clients and how it provides a meaningful context for research and writing projects that are more abstract. Michaela is particularly interested in Single Room Occupancy (SRO) buildings and has researched proposed legislation that would affect the rights of tenants in SRO properties.
David Lurie, will be a second year law student at Northwestern Law School this fall. David concentrated on tenant advocacy this summer, learning more about eviction defense. While he has worked on a number of eviction cases this summer, the one that most piqued his interest was an eviction carried out after a tax sale. David worked with a family who was evicted without notice simply because the building's owner had failed to pay property taxes. David prepared a memo on the denial of due process in tax deed evictions and has helped lay the groundwork for a possible appeal.
Chris Antonelli will soon start his second year of law school at Brooklyn Law School. He has counseled numerous tenants, whose buildings were in foreclosure, advising them on their rights under various state and local laws. He has enjoyed seeing the tangible benefits he can secure for LCBH clients simply by making a few phone calls. With Chris's assistance, tenants have asserted rights they did not know they had. These tenants have been able to secure lease extensions and relocation assistance under the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO).
Gurhan Heinert just completed his first year at Valparaiso Law School, and chose to intern at LCBH because of his strong interest in working with low-income families and fighting the negative effects of gentrification. As a native Spanish speaker, Gurhan has helped counsel a wide range of families, educating about their rights and protections under the law. He enjoyed listening to client stories and helping to develop legal strategies that will be beneficial as LCBH attorneys advocate on their behalf.