Joan Spiegel, Managing Attorney of the Western Regional Office for Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation (Land of Lincoln), was presented with The Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois’ Leadership Award on June 12 from at its annual meeting held at the Chicago Bar Association.
Joan Spiegel was recognized for more than three decades worth of exemplary leadership and dedicated service to the cause of equal access to justice. During her 31 years of service at Land of Lincoln, Joan’s main focus has been on the rights of children, victims of domestic violence, and individuals with disabilities. With a special talent for collaboration, Joan worked closely with domestic violence shelters and courts to create The Lawyers in the Courtroom Project in 1997, and had an instrumental part in the establishment of the Third Circuit’s mortgage foreclosure mediation program. In 2011, Joan spearheaded a program in the Third Judicial Circuit that created a circuit-wide pro bono coordinating council that brought together a variety of stakeholders (including judges) to address the need for more pro bono services. This model program has been adopted by five other circuits, and continues to expand.
The Lawyers Trust Fund President-elect, Jennifer Nijman, had this to say about Joan Spiegel in her presentation of this award, “Obviously, legal aid needs all the help it can get, and one of Joan’s most remarkable gifts is her ability to rally others to the cause, through the force of her convictions, the depth of her knowledge, and the example of her hard work.”