Carbondale Attorney Wins State Bar Association Awards for Public Service

Posted by on Aug 3, 2018 in Blog, News | Comments Off on Carbondale Attorney Wins State Bar Association Awards for Public Service

Carbondale attorney Paul Matalonis received the Illinois State Bar Association’s highest award for public service, the Joseph Bartylak Award, on July 18, 2018. Matalonis has worked for Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation for 34 years after volunteering for the organization as a law student.

The award is presented annually to a legal service attorney who “provides extraordinary, compassionate and successful legal advocacy, significantly advances access to quality legal representation, and serves as an example through a record of exceptional advocacy, leadership and dedication for the importance of providing civil legal services to the state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Matalonis has represented thousands of low-income individuals in civil cases during his tenure at Land of Lincoln. He is also a statewide expert in housing law, served as Land of Lincoln’s  Housing Law Task Force Chair for 14 years, and he was the Board President of the Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless for seven years.  In a recent lawsuit, Matalonis successfully prevented a tenant’s eviction and obtained $10,000 in damages for her.

In response to winning the award, Matalonis expressed that his award would serve as inspiration to other attorneys to work on behalf of low income people. He also said, “The last four words of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America state ‘and Justice for all!’   Fighting every day for the last 36 years to make this a reality for some poor people in Southern Illinois has been a very worthwhile profession. “

He added, “ I hope the recognition I receive for this award will inspire others to stay in this fight and the majority of my peers to join in.”

Land of Lincoln Board President John Thies said, “Paul motivates all of us by his dedication to the needs of clients and community. He truly embodies our Mission and Vision.”

Matalonis also volunteers with the Carbondale Women’s Center, Buckminster Fuller Dome Home Preservation, and the Southern Action Counties Movement.