Pages Navigation Menu

Staff

Tom Yates : EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Tom Yates

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Tom Yates was appointed Executive Director in April 2014 and is recognized as a local and national leader for his work in Social Security disability policy representing individuals who are low-income, have disabilities, and need income support and health care coverage. He is one of the foremost attorneys in the country handing children’s disability cases, and has co-counseled several significant class actions driving systemic improvements in access to health, including re-opening two consent decrees in 2015-2016 (Memosovski v. Maram and Beeks v. Bradley) to ensure and continuity of access to Medicaid-funded health care for more than 3.1 million Illinoisans despite an unprecedented state budget impasse. Because of his expertise, Tom is one of a select group of attorneys who meet with the Commissioner of the United States Social Security Administration on new regulations and guidance to states.

The recipient of many honors, including the 2013 Chicago Bar Foundation Morsch Award for career contributions to public interest law, Tom came to the Council in November 2013 after 17 years as supervising attorney and general counsel at Health & Disability Advocates, where he built a practice helping thousands of children and adults with special health care needs to get Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, thereby enabling them to stabilize their lives. In 2015, he was named a Where Health Meets Justice fellow by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

Tom holds a J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law and a Bachelor of Special Studies with majors in economics and philosophy from Cornell College.

CONTACT: tyates@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1958
Ellyce Anapolsky : STAFF ATTORNEY

Ellyce Anapolsky

STAFF ATTORNEY

Ellyce brought her work representing clients in Supplemental Social Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits cases to the Legal Council in early 2014. Her practice is a vital service to people with disabilities, as she helps them navigate, secure, and protect their modest benefits in a complicated and often frustrating system. She also helps train benefit planners, health insurance counselors, and medical staff on issues involving Medicare, Social Security, and other benefits.

In 2015, Ellyce was named Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Association Social Security Law Committee is currently serving as a Board Member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR). She was a Chicago Bar Foundation Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellow in 2013, and in 2014, won the Distinguished Service Award from the John Marshall Law School Alumni Association.

Before earning her J.D. from John Marshall Law School in 2004, Ellyce had a 30-year career in accounting, administration, and finance for nonprofit and corporate organizations. She holds a M.S. in Accounting from California State University.

CONTACT: eanapolsky@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1946
Samantha Asofsky : LEGAL ADVOCATE

Samantha Asofsky

LEGAL ADVOCATE

Sam is an AVODAH service corps member who is a case manager for the Homeless Outreach Project. Sam was a Colonel Robinson Scholar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she studied psychology and sexuality studies. Under the Karen M Gil Fellowship, she interned at 3C Family services, a clinical practice with a variety of psychological health professionals. Sam also had the privilege of working with children with disabilities in an inclusion camp for two years as an inclusion specialist. Additionally, she has conducted research on OCD for the past 7 years, and she most recently received an IOCDF poster award. Sam is trained in LGBTIA cultural competency, domestic child abuse prevention, and social skills group intervention.

CONTACT: sasofsky@legalcouncil.org 312-427-8990 x 235
Kevin Beaney : OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

Kevin Beaney

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

Kevin has been the Council's Office Administrator since 1995, performing many of the agency’s internal non-legal activities, including reception, bookkeeping, statistical reporting, human resources, budgeting, and vendor negotiation. Previous jobs as office administrator of a not-for-profit theater and editor of a lesbian/gay newspaper provided him with relevant office skills and familiarity with HIV/AIDS issues for the position. Kevin’s experience with computer installation and testing enabled him to assume the responsibility for the network, agency databases and related information technology tasks. He led the search for new office space and organized the moves for the Council in 2000 and in 2006. He is a graduate of Fordham University with a degree in Communications.

CONTACT: kbeaney@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1950
Megan Borneman : LEGAL ADVOCATE

Megan Borneman

LEGAL ADVOCATE

Megan is a legal advocate with the UIC CHECK program. Building her career in helping vulnerable populations attain healthy equity, Megan is a valuable asset to the UIC CHECK team because of her deep understanding of housing quality and its relation to health outcomes, particularly in children with chronic asthma. She came to the Legal Council with extensive experience with housing issues from her time at the City of Milwaukee Health Department and Chicago’s Metropolitan Tenants Organization. She received her B.A. in Sociology and Speech Communication at Augusta College and her M.A. in Sociology from Roosevelt University.

CONTACT: mborneman@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1966
Rebecca Cabezas : LEGAL ADVOCATE

Rebecca Cabezas

LEGAL ADVOCATE

Rebecca is a legal advocate with the UIC CHECK program. She is particularly passionate about immigration issues and rights. Fluent in Spanish and with experience interacting with immigrant children and their families, Rebecca’s interests and previous experience make her a crucial part of the UIC CHECK team. Previously, she worked at the National Immigrant Justice Center, and Student World Assembly. Rebecca has focused her career on human rights and advocacy. She went to the University of Illinois for her BA is Political Science and received her MS in Global Affairs from New York University.

CONTACT: rcabezas@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1956
Carrie Chapman : DIRECTOR OF POLICY ADVOCACY AND STRATEGIC INNOVATION

Carrie Chapman

DIRECTOR OF POLICY ADVOCACY AND STRATEGIC INNOVATION

As the Director of Policy Advocacy and Strategic Innovation for the Legal Council, Carrie oversees litigation, legislation, and administrative advocacy while assisting program directors in supervising legal work. She also uses her experience at building and sustaining medical-legal partnerships to foster new relationships. Carrie has extensive experience serving people in poverty through litigation. Prior to her time at the Council, Carrie directed the public benefits practice group at LAF where she supervised a 25-person team working on public benefits advocacy. She also litigated complex cases on hospital charity care. Currently, she teaches “Poverty Law” at DePaul University School of Law as an adjunct faculty member. She received her BA from the University of Michigan, MA in American Studies from Yale, and her JD from the University of Texas.

CONTACT: cchapman@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1981
Maria Duque : ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Maria Duque

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Maria, who is fluent in Spanish, joined the Legal Council for Health Justice in 2008. Previously, she worked as a legal assistant at a private law firm in Chicago for more than nine years, assisting with cases in family law, real estate, probate, and litigation. Maria studied criminology at Turabo University in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and holds a legal secretary associate degree from St. Augustine College. In her spare time, Maria is an active PTA member at her children's school and volunteers as part of the Parent Mentor Program in Logan Square.

CONTACT: mduque@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1969
Brianne Dotts : STAFF ATTORNEY

Brianne Dotts

STAFF ATTORNEY

Brianne joined the Legal Council in 2015 and is a staff attorney for Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children.  She provides direct representation to children and adults on a wide variety of legal issues and training to medical providers and legal professionals on topics related to Social Security disability, special education, and on the intersection of these topics with other areas of law and services.

Brianne brings years of experience working in both private firms and nonprofit organizations in the areas of Social Security disability, special education and school discipline, and guardianship to her role at the Legal Council. She worked at LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation) coordinating the Education Pro Bono Project, which worked with pro bono attorneys, parents, and clinicians to provide representation to low-income families. Brianne also represented numerous adult clients throughout the country while working for a national Social Security disability advocacy group. She started her legal career at a private New York City law firm focused on representing families of children with autism, and was involved in several important federal court decisions, including T.K. v. New York City Dep’t of Educ., 779 F. Supp. 2d. 289 (E.D.N.Y. 2011) (court recognized bullying deprived a student of a “free appropriate public education”) and R.E. v. New York City Dep’t of Educ., 694 F.3d 167 (2d Cir. 2012) (school district must defend program based on information given to parents in IEP).

Brianne earned her J.D. from New York Law School, and has been admitted to practice in Illinois, Minnesota, and New York.

CONTACT: bdotts@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1945
Ruth Edwards : MANAGING ATTORNEY, AIDS Legal Council

Ruth Edwards

MANAGING ATTORNEY, AIDS Legal Council

Ruth is the current director of the AIDS Legal Council program and has almost a decade of experience in legal services and policy development on behalf of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. She came to the Council in 2006 with eleven years experience in legal services, including Legal Assistance Foundation, the legal clinic at the DePaul University College of Law, and Life-Span Center for Legal Services and Advocacy. In her prior positions, she developed substantial expertise in the representation of immigrants and victims of domestic violence and is the Council’s resident authority on immigration law. Ruth, who is fluent in Spanish, received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Northeastern University in Boston.

CONTACT: redwards@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1970
Justin Hayford : LEGAL ADVOCATE

Justin Hayford

LEGAL ADVOCATE

Since 1991, Justin has been the case manager at the AIDS Legal Council, where he volunteered for a year before joining the staff. In addition to handling hundreds of client matters every year, ranging from simple wills to complicated discrimination matters, he has written a series of nine booklets outlining Illinois AIDS Law for the Council. He has also trained groups of other professionals in HIV law, testified before legislative bodies, and taken on various state and local bureaucracies. A graduate of Northwestern University, Justin has written numerous articles focusing on various political and legal aspects of the AIDS crisis for The Chicago Reader, The Progressive, The Public Interest Law Reporter, and Positively Aware. Justin is also an award-winning cabaret performer, who has released several CDs of “forgotten gems” from the ‘30s and ‘40s on the national LML Music label. He regularly writes theater reviews for The Chicago Reader.

CONTACT: jhayford@legalcouncil.org
Sarah Hess : STAFF ATTORNEY

Sarah Hess

STAFF ATTORNEY

Sarah is a staff attorney with the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children. She focuses on place-based legal interventions for youth with chronic health conditions. She provides legal services to mitigate the causes and consequences of trauma, toxic stress, and the social determinants of health. Sarah comes to the Legal Council from Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, where she was a Skadden Fellow heading a Medical-Legal Partnership for school-based centers at Erie Family Health Center. Sarah chairs the CBA Young Lawyers Secrion Health & Hospital Committee, is a PILI alumni representative, and is a member of the National Order of Scribes. Sarah earned her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School, where she was awarded the Women's Bar Foundation Scholarship, the Herzog and Edward T. Lee Scholarships for academic excellence, and the Public Interest Recognition award. She earned her B.A. from DePaul University with a focus on African-Black Diaspora Studies.

CONTACT: shess@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1984
Sarah Horn : AMERICORPS VISTA

Sarah Horn

AMERICORPS VISTA

Sarah is serving a term as one of two AmeriCorps VISTAs at Legal Council. Sarah recently completed her Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University, concentrating in nonprofit management and policy analysis, with a focus on health policy. In her time at graduate school, she helped several nonprofits with evaluation and development. Through her capstone project, she consulted for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis where she examined the barriers to participation in wellness programs and their relationships to social determinants of health. She also created a comprehensive fund development plan for Shalom Community Center, a homeless day shelter in Bloomingtin, Indiana. During her year of service, she will help build organizational capacity as a part of the administrative team.

CONTACT: shorn@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1957
Marina Kurakin : LEGAL ADVOCATE

Marina Kurakin

LEGAL ADVOCATE

Marina joined us in 2013, with extensive experience in working with immigrants, refugees, and other vulnerable populations. Currently, Marina is leading our legal clinics at TPAN and at the CARE program through Mercy Hospital. She has an M.F.A. and M.S.W. with a concentration in Community Health. Prior to joining the Council, Marina worked as a vision therapist partnering with individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and as a community organizer for the AFL-CIO. With her background in art, Marina sits on the board of two art residency programs and curates shows throughout Chicago. She is fluent in Russian and is passionate about building access to resources for all. Marina helps our clients navigate the Affordable Care Act, guiding them through Medicaid/Managed Care, Medicare, and Insurance Marketplace issues.

CONTACT: mkurakin@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1982
Nick Leighton : PRE-MED LEGAL CARE EXTERN

Nick Leighton

PRE-MED LEGAL CARE EXTERN

Nick recently joined the Legal Council for Health Justice in 2016 as part of the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children. Before joining the Legal Council, he received his B.A. in Medical Anthropology from Northwestern University and wrote an honors thesis entitled “Is health a choice, or is it chance?” exploring health inequality and determinants of health in the United States. In addition to his work at the Legal Council, Nick has written a resolution on gun control for the City Council of Chicago under Alderman George Cardenas and worked closely with the Coordinated Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK) program at UIC.

CONTACT: nleighton@legalcouncil.org
Enrique Mendoza : AMERICORPS VISTA

Enrique Mendoza

AMERICORPS VISTA

Enrique is an AmeriCorps VISTA fellow working with the Marketing & Development staff at the Legal Council.  Born and raised in Chicago, Enrique attended DePaul University where he earned a B.A. in Political Science. His future plans include going to law school, working in the non-profit sector, and becoming involved in Chicago’s political arena. Prior to joining the Legal Council, Enrique was a legal intern with Mil Mujeres Legal Services where he provided legal assistance to immigrant women. He was also a summer intern for the AFL-CIO where he helped to organize a home care worker campaign and recently finished interning for Congressman Luis Gutierrez’s office working as a congressional aide.

CONTACT: emendoza@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1948
Kate Miller : LEGAL ADVOCATE

Kate Miller

LEGAL ADVOCATE

After receiving her M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, Kate became part of the Council’s legal team in 2002, inspired by its strong ethical commitment to care for individuals with HIV. She is one of few paralegals in the nation with the licensure to conduct federal disability cases, and currently works with the Homeless Outreach Project.  Before she moved to Chicago for graduate school, Kate served in Ghana as a secondary school teacher and worked in Seattle as an on-the-street case manager aiding chronically homeless adults with substance abuse and mental health issues. During graduate school, she worked on a study identifying barriers that prevent HIV positive women from seeking appropriate health care and subsequently presented the research at the 2002 International AIDS Conference in Barcelona. The research was published in 2005 in the journal Social Science and Medicine. Always an activist, Kate put together a coalition that saved a low income building in Seattle and currently serves on the Community Advisory Board for Project Wish, a University of Illinois research group focusing on vaccines for S.T.D.s; and the Global Community Advisory Board for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. At the Council, Kate is an aggressive and successful advocate for all of our clients, but especially for people with mental impairments. Since coming to the Council, Kate has earned certificates from the Cervantes Institute establishing her fluency in Spanish and was recently accredited by the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services to represent clients in adjustment interviews.

CONTACT: mkate@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1986
Kevin Mork : DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Kevin Mork

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Kevin joined the Council as director of community relations in April 2012 and was named director of development in February 2015. He manages AIDS Legal Council's Ryan White and other government grants, fundraising initiatives, event programming, and donor cultivation activities. Kevin also oversees and coordinates the numerous educational trainings the Council provides across the region each year. Prior to joining the Council, Kevin was the head of development at Illinois' largest LGBT-rights organization. He was also an ESL and Spanish teacher for a number of years and has lived in Japan, Mexico, Spain, and Thailand. Kevin holds a BA in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Minnesota, a CELTA from the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, and an MA in Teaching Spanish from Portland State University.

CONTACT: kjmork@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1976
Nate Muckley : MEDICAID MANAGED CARE OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Nate Muckley

MEDICAID MANAGED CARE OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Nate is an AmeriCorps member serving at the Legal Council for Health Justice through the National Health Corps, Chicago. Before his AmeriCorps service term, Nate graduated from Beloit College with a B.A. in Political Science. At Beloit College, he was able to intern at the Wisconsin Legislature and volunteer with Beloit Regional Hospice. Nate was also involved in STI prevention outreach and community education through the Beloit Public Health Initiative, and acted as the Media and Marketing Coordinator for the group.

CONTACT: nmuckley@legalcouncil.org 312-427-8990 x 223
Lisa Parsons : MANAGING ATTORNEY, Homeless Outreach Project

Lisa Parsons

MANAGING ATTORNEY, Homeless Outreach Project

Lisa has led the Homeless Outreach Project since 2007, bringing it to the Legal Council in January 2014. She and her team conduct outreach on the streets, in shelters, and among behavioral health providers to assist individuals who are homeless with co-occurring substance addiction and mental health diagnoses to secure Social Security disability benefits and connect them to healthcare, housing, and supportive services. Previously, she provided legal representation to low-income homeowners in foreclosure matters.

After earning her law degree, she served as the project director of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Homeless Advocacy Project, before accepting a similar position at Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago.  She later directed a joint law and social services project at the University of Chicago’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic to assist persons with serious mental illness to secure services in the least restrictive environment, obtain disability benefits, and defend against discrimination in housing.  In 2004, Lisa conducted research to produce two reports for the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois on public benefits and housing law issues affecting low-income households.

She is a graduate of the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

CONTACT: lparsons@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1962
Anei Reyes : LEGAL ADVOCATE

Anei Reyes

LEGAL ADVOCATE

Anei Reyes joined the Legal Council in 2016 as a bilingual paralegal with the AIDS Legal Council. Anei has experience in case management specializing in working with Spanish-speaking, HIV+ and LGBT populations. Previously, Anei worked at Howard Brown Health as a Ryan White Case Manager assisting clients to access medications through the Illinois Aids Drugs Assistance Program, enrolling in medical benefits and maintaining housing and other necessary services. While at Howard Brown, Anei participated on the Trans Health Steering Committee as well as the committee to update and improve the Informed Consent protocol for Hormone Replacement Therapy for trans and gender non-conforming patients. Anei holds an honors B.A. Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in History. In addition to studying Latin American history, Anei also studied two years each of Portuguese and Russian. During college Anei worked as a baker and cook. Anei continues their passion for baking on the weekends at Smack Dab bakery in Rogers Park.

CONTACT: areyes@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1941
Jessica Rhoades : STAFF ATTORNEY

Jessica Rhoades

STAFF ATTORNEY

Jessica is a Bilingual Staff Attorney working with the AIDS Legal Council program. Prior to joining the Council in 2015, she was a staff attorney with Prairie State Legal Services, providing a wide variety of free civil legal services to low income people in northern Illinois. Jessica’s past legal-service agency experience has taken her to northern California and central Illinois as well as to Chicago’s LAF and Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. She earned her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law and her B.A. from Grinnell College.

CONTACT: jrhoades@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1965
Emelin Santiago : LEGAL ADVOCATE, Homeless Outreach Project

Emelin Santiago

LEGAL ADVOCATE, Homeless Outreach Project

Emelin Santiago joined Legal Council for Health Justice as a Paralegal in April of 2016. She brings ten years’ experience working with and assisting clients and lawyers on Social Security cases.  Emelin currently works with our Home Outreach Project providing assistance to individuals who are homeless to secure Social Security disability benefits. Emelin has an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences in Paralegal Studies from the College of Lake County.

CONTACT: esantiago@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1977
Amanda Walsh : ATTORNEY, Equal Justice Works Fellow

Amanda Walsh

ATTORNEY, Equal Justice Works Fellow

Amanda is an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Walgreen Co. and Baker & McKenzie, LLP, working with the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children. Her two-year fellowship project focuses on using legal care to improve the mental health and family stability of children with mental health needs. Prior to joining the Council, Amanda worked with numerous public interest agencies around Chicago and nationally, including the Family Defense Center, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Chicago, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and the ACLU of Illinois. Amanda earned her B.A. in “Justice and Mental Health” with a minor in child and adolescent mental health studies from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She then went on to obtain her M.S.W., J.D., and LL.M. degrees from Loyola University Chicago, focusing on mental health, child and family law, public interest law, and health law. She is the 2011 recipient of the Chicago Bar Foundation Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship and Loyola’s Civitas ChildLaw Fellowship, and, most recently, the 2016 recipient of the Chicago Bar Foundation Kimball R. Anderson and Karen Gatsis Anderson Public Interest Law Fellowship.

CONTACT: awalsh@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1989
Jill Wohl : DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Jill Wohl

DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Jill is a strategic communications and development veteran who helped transition two nonprofit medical-legal partnership projects from another agency, where she had overseen a 30 percent increase in foundation giving. She has written and managed grants powering programs and policy for children and youth, mental health, disability, education, and restorative justice. Before a brief stint at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Jill was a member of the senior management team at Illinois Action for Children during the historic passage of Preschool for All legislation. A former award-winning copywriter, Jill is also a founding member of Raise Your Hand, a grassroots parent group dedicated to improving public school funding and quality, and a former member and champion of Local School Councils. Jill has a bachelor’s degree from the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

CONTACT: jwohl@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1980
Amy Zimmerman : MANAGING ATTORNEY, Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children

Amy Zimmerman

MANAGING ATTORNEY, Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children

As the program's longtime director, Amy brought the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (CMLPC) to Legal Council for Health Justice in 2014, which provides free legal assistance to families with children challenged by disability, chronic disease, and acute illness. One of the first medical-legal partnerships in the nation, this "legal care" program brings together doctors, lawyers, and social workers to tackle social and economic difficulties that negatively impact child health and development. Over her years of practice, Amy has spearheaded legislative initiatives and helped to implement groundbreaking health policies. Highlights include: the Illinois Children's Product Safety Act on recall requirements, the Illinois School Code on classroom access and home and hospital instruction, and the Early Intervention Services System Act on council and service delivery improvements. Previously, Amy served as the Children's Policy Advisor to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, as assistant director of the Children's Health and Education Project at the Chicago Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and as a neighborhood and project attorney at LAF. She has received numerous awards, including honors from the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition and the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). In April 2013, CMLPC received the National Outstanding Medical Legal Partnership Award. Amy earned her J.D. in 1991 from Northwestern University Law School. Amy is currently a member of the inaugural class of the Children’s Health Leadership Network, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies.

CONTACT: azimmerman@legalcouncil.org 312-605-1963
Email
Print