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Access to Justice Commission announces 14 new Illinois JusticeCorps Fellows

By: Kathryn Hensley, JusticeCorps Officer, Civil Justice Division

August 27 , 2018

The Access to Justice Commission would like to recognize the 2018-2019 incoming Illinois JusticeCorps (ILJC) Fellows who are committing to a year of service at courthouses throughout the state. The Commission is proud to partake in this unique collaboration between the courts, the Illinois Bar Foundation, The Chicago Bar Foundation and AmeriCorps. 

Throughout their term of service, fellows receive intensive training on legal information versus advice, the court system, and working with self-represented litigants. Fellows and other part-time ILJC members provide valuable assistance to people without lawyers by helping them navigate the courthouse, access legal and social service resources, and connecting them to legal aid and other services in their community. ILJC members complement the work of lawyers, clerks, court personnel and library staff by providing legal information and procedural guidance to those who need it most.

As previously outlined in the June 2018 Illinois Courts Connect article, ILJC is an innovative AmeriCorps program that was launched in Chicago in 2009. The program expanded statewide in 2012 and this year, ILJC Fellows will serve in 13 courthouses across the state, representing 11 circuits and assisting in each of the five appellate districts. 

The Commission is proud to introduce the diverse group of ILJC Fellows, who will serve at the following courthouses (Note: McHenry County, 22nd Judicial Circuit, is currently pending placement):

Champaign County (6th Judicial Circuit)

Adam Kaz – Adam is from Lake Forest, Illinois and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He completed his B.A. in three years while majoring in Advertising and minoring in History and Pre-Law. Adam was a member of the Illinois Mock Trial Team, interned at a personal injury law firm, and served as a summer volunteer for JusticeCorps in Champaign prior to becoming the Fellow.

Cook County (Circuit Court of Cook County)

Daley Center

Juan Dawson – Juan is from Goose Creek, South Carolina and is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., where he majored in Economics, Legal Institutions, Communications and Government. He previously worked as a paralegal for firms specializing in immigration, litigation and antitrust. While in college, Juan interned at The White House in the Office of Presidential Correspondence.

Melissa Segarra – Melissa is from Bloomington, Indiana and holds an M.A. in Public Affairs from Indiana University and a B.A. in Dramaturgy from Northwestern University. She has extensive experience working with vulnerable communities and has taught various languages to children and adults from immigrant and low-income families. Melissa has also served as an emergency aid worker in Calais, France and has managed numerous art programs in Illinois and Indiana.
 
Adara Vannarath – Adara hails from Waukesha, Wisconsin and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in Biology and Sociology. While in college, she studied abroad and served as a research assistant in a laboratory focusing on maternal and child health in Chiang Rai, Thailand. She most recently worked for the Interstate Blood Bank. 

Markham

Natisha McAdams – Natisha is from Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Black Studies. She also holds a paralegal certificate from Ashworth College. Natisha has conducted canvassing efforts for unions, grassroots political candidates, and advocacy groups. 

Leighton Criminal Court Building

Gray Moreau – Gray is from Estes Park, Colorado and recently completed her B.L.A. at the University of New Mexico, where she graduated cum laude. She has worked with immigrant and other at-risk populations in New Mexico and previously volunteered with underserved students in the Denver Public School system.

Kane County (16th Judicial Circuit)

John O'Neill - John hails from Reno, Nevada and is a graduate of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He majored in Russian Studies and studied abroad in Ukraine and Russia, where he also taught English to hundreds of students. While in college, John interned at the Library of Congress in the European Division.

Kankakee County (21st Judicial Circuit)

Jamyce Cleggett – Jamyce hails from Kankakee, Illinois and has extensive experience in youth empowerment and community-based programs. She launched the inaugural Uplift Festival in Kankakee and also oversees the Parent Life program. Jamyce holds an M.B.A. from Olivet Nazarene University and is currently obtaining a Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies certificate from Kankakee Community College. 

Knox County (9th Judicial Circuit)

Patrick Marzolino – Patrick is from Orange, California and is completing his B.A. at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois where he majors in Political Science. He is a student athlete on the college's football team, serves on the school's Pre-Law Club, and interned at the Knox County State's Attorney Office. 

Lake County (19th Judicial Circuit)

Lauren Spungen – Lauren is from Deerfield, Illinois and is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Legal Studies and Spanish. She was a member of her college's Mock Trial Team, studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, and interned with a migrant and immigrant community organization. 

Madison County (3rd Judicial Circuit)

Olivia Haddox - Olivia is from Washington, Missouri and is completing a B.S. in Environmental Science (Toxicology) and a B.A. in French Language at Southern Illinois University. During her studies, Olivia studied abroad in Paris, France and served as a resident assistant. Since 2008, she has served as a volunteer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Camp Rhythm, a summer camp for children with congenital heart defects. 

McLean County (11th Judicial Circuit)

Tameka Newman – Tameka is from Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate of Illinois State University. She majored in Criminal Justice, served on the ISU's Mock Trial Team, and interned at the McLean County Public Defender's Office. Tameka also has experience in mediation and served as a minimum-time JusticeCorps member prior to becoming the Fellow.

Will County (12th Judicial Circuit)

Alfreda Baran – Alfreda is from Chicago, Illinois and is completing her second term as an ILJC Fellow in Will County. She has an M.B.A. from St. Xavier University and also holds a paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University. Prior to joining the program, Alfreda worked with the Department of Justice and Department of Labor. 

Winnebago County (17th Judicial Circuit)

LaMar Pulliam – LaMar is from Beloit, Wisconsin where he has worked with at-risk youth and fathers to offer tutoring, GED preparation, employment readiness, and assists in building networks of support. He has extensive experience working with community services and has also coached youth basketball.

Please join us in congratulating the new class of ILJC Fellows and encouraging their efforts to make Illinois courts more welcoming and accessible for self-represented litigants.