Clinic Highlight

NIU Law Collaborates with Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice

May 05, 2006

Joseph A. DailingDeKalb, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University College of Law has entered into a new collaboration with the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice by providing office space to its executive director, Joseph A. Dailing, at the law school's Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford.

Dailing is the first full-time employee of the Coalition, which is funded by the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois. The Coalition was formed in 2001 as a joint project of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Foundation to create a more responsive and accessible justice system in Illinois, particularly for lower income individuals and families. Similarly, at the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic, NIU Law students - under the supervision of a licensed attorney - receive hands-on education by providing legal services to persons who might not otherwise have access to legal representation.

"We are privileged to have Mr. Dailing at the Zeke Giorgi Clinic," remarked David Taylor, NIU Law Professor and director of legal skills training. "We look forward to collaborating with him on projects within our shared missions of increasing student interest in public interest law and providing legal assistance to those who would otherwise not have access to the judicial system."

This year, the Coalition is working to establish several model legal self-help centers in Illinois courthouses for individuals who must represent themselves either because free legal services are not available to them or they cannot afford a private attorney.

Prior to working with the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, Dailing served as executive director of Prairie State Legal Services for nearly 29 years. The organization is the primary provider of free legal services in northern and central Illinois outside of Cook County. Dailing supervised the expansion of the organization from a program serving 10 counties from five offices to a program serving 36 counties from 12 offices.

Dailing also has consulted with legal aid programs nationally and internationally. He has worked as a consultant for the Management Information Exchange, as well as with the federal Legal Services Corporation on state planning and development issues. In 2003, Dailing worked with legal aid and public interest groups in the Republic of Georgia in the former Soviet Union under a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

In addition to his new office at the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford, Dailing also maintains an office in downtown Chicago at the Chicago Bar Association.

For more information, contact:
Melody Mitchell
Director, Alumni Events & Public Relations