In honor of Law Day the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association presented our own Carolyn Faller with the Liberty Bell Award! The Liberty Bell Award is given out annually to a legal professional who has contributed to the administration of justice through: a sense of responsibility for community welfare and public duty, dedicated assistance in helping others understand and assert their rights, and a demonstrated contribution to the smooth functioning of our system of justice.

As a paralegal who works with our Client Support Services and our Housing Practice Group, Carolyn provides housing navigation assistance and support to unhoused individuals impacted by HIV. Carolyn’s role is unique in that she provides holistic social services and litigation support to our clients in their housing needs.  She is out in the field making house calls to clients, accompanying clients to court hearings, helping clients connect to subsidized housing, and managing Legal Aid Chicago’s emergency funds. She also provides litigation support for Housing staff attorneys. “It’s an honor and a privilege to work with Carolyn. Her tireless compassion and advocacy is an inspiration; she reminds us all why we do this work,” said Housing Practice Group Associate Director, Jessica Kalmewicki.

Carolyn first joined Legal Aid Chicago in November 2020, after the Peace Corps evacuated her from her deployment in Eswatini (due to COVID). In January 2022, Carolyn left Legal Aid Chicago to work for the City of Chicago (before returning to Legal Aid Chicago in September 2022). During her time with the City of Chicago, Carolyn continued her commitment to service. Specifically, Carolyn worked for the City’s Department of Law, where she helped the legal team enforce and implement the Chicago Police Department’s Consent Decree. This included working on alternative emergency response services for people experiencing mental health crises, providing new and enhanced training for officers, and increasing coordination across City public safety entities. “We are so lucky to have Carolyn back and in this role as a housing advocate. Her dedication and patience with clients comes through with her warm and sunny presence. I’m so proud to work with Carolyn and am grateful her hard work was recognized with the CBA’s Liberty Bell Award,” Jenelle Pedroza, Director, Client Support Services.

Carolyn’s nomination was endorsed by several Legal Aid Chicago attorneys, in addition to attorneys from: Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Equip for Equality, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Disability Rights Advocates, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Miller Shakman Levine & Feldman, Prinz Law Firm, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Carolyn’s tireless advocacy is truly inspiring, and she is so deserving of this prestigious award. Thank you, and congratulations Carolyn!