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Moran Center for Youth Advocacy ("Moran Center") will open a school-based civil legal clinic at Chute Middle School ("Chute") in Evanston on April 4, 2018. The clinic will provide free information and legal assistance on a wide variety of non-criminal topics including adoption, consumer/bankruptcy, family law, guardianship, housing, immigration, and public benefits. The Moran Center, which historically represents youth and young adults in criminal and special education proceedings, aims to "go deeper" in meeting the legal needs of families with school-aged children by launching this clinic. According to Patrick Keenan-Devlin, Moran Center's Executive Director, "When under-resourced families experience unsafe housing, illegal eviction, or loss of public benefits, children frequently miss school, fall behind, and experience school failure. By tackling families' civil legal issues, we can further minimize the 'justice gap' that puts children at risk of disengaging from school, substance abuse, mental health challenges, and even incarceration." The pilot civil legal clinic will be located at Chute (1400 Oakton Street, Evanston) and will be open for walk-in hours every 3rd Saturday from 9:00am-1:00pm and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 4:00pm-8:00pm. Joan Clay, recently hired Moran Center staff attorney, will lead the efforts at the clinic, working closely with pro-bono attorneys, Evanston/Skokie School District 65, and partner agencies, including Metropolitan Family Services and Y.O.U., in an effort to build-up Chute as a hub of social services within the neighborhood. The Moran Center will conduct intakes at Chute, while also accepting referrals via our office phone line while the clinic is not operational. The staff attorney, as well as members of the pro bono legal team, will provide brief advice, directly refer matters to partner legal aid agencies, and/or agree to represent families. The Moran Center will additionally provide trainings to administrators, faculty, and staff, as well as families at Chute, Dawes, Oakton, and Walker in identifying common legal issues and how best to refer families to the clinic.
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