Clinic Highlight

NIU Law Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic Welcomes New Supervising Attorney


November 27, 2007
Rockford, Ill. -- The Northern Illinois University College of Law is pleased to announce that Wendy Vaughn has joined the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford as the supervising attorney.

As supervising attorney, Vaughn will oversee NIU Law students who provide legal services to clients at the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic, specifically in the Elder Law Clinic and Domestic Abuse Clinic. The clinical programs enable students to gain hands-on, practical experience while also helping clients who may not otherwise have access to legal representation.

The position is an ideal fit for Vaughn, who has dedicated her legal career to social change advocacy and poverty law on behalf of low-income clients. Vaughn’s previous work has focused primarily on public policy advocacy and direct representation on behalf of survivors of domestic violence in the areas of family law, pubic benefits and housing. She also has significant experience as a legal services manager and trainer, and is proficient in Spanish.

“Wendy will be a great addition to our clinic and will help us further develop our core clinic offerings as well as assist us in our community service activities,” remarked David Taylor, NIU Law professor and director of skills training at the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic.

For the past three years, Vaughn worked at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLS) as the supervising attorney of the Family Law Advocacy Group. At NLS, Vaughn was directly responsible for operating five court-based domestic violence clinics throughout Los Angeles County, managing over $600,000 in grant funds, and providing supervision, training, and mentorship to staff attorneys, law students, and paralegals.

Vaughn is a 1998 graduate from the New York University School of Law where she was awarded the Anne Petluck Poses Prize for excellence in her clinical work.  Upon graduation, she was awarded a Frederick B. Abramsom Public Interest Fellowship as well as a National Association of Public Interest Law (NAPIL / Equal Justice Works) Fellowship to provide comprehensive legal services to survivors of domestic violence at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. After successfully completing her fellowship project, Vaughn remained at the organization as a supervising attorney and director of intake for an additional three years. She then spent a year as the legal director of Levitt and Quinn Family Law Center in Los Angeles. 

Vaughn resides in Rockford with her husband, Robert L. Jones, who is a new full-time faculty member at NIU Law.

The Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic opened in 2001 and is located in downtown Rockford, adjacent to the Winnebago County Courthouse. Named in honor of Edolo Joseph “Zeke” Giorgi, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 67th District from 1965 until his death in 1993, the Clinic stands as a tribute to Zeke’s legislative efforts on behalf of young people education and his local constituency.

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The only public law school in the greater Chicago area, NIU Law has previously been ranked first in the nation for government placement, according to U.S. News and World Report. Nearly one-third of its graduates choose a career in public interest, including more than 50 alumni in the judiciary -- a remarkable accomplishment for a law school with less than 3,000 graduates. In honor of its commitment to public service, NIU Law received the 2001 Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service Award.
 
 
For more information

Contact: Melody Mitchell
Director, Alumni Events & Public Relations
(815) 753-9655
mmitchell@niu.edu