Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic receives ‘Peace’ award

Paul Cain (left) speaks at the Partner in Peace award presentation
Paul Cain (left) speaks at the Partner in Peace award presentation

The NIU College of Law’s Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic received the 2010 Partner in Peace Award bestowed by the Violence Prevention Collaborative in honor of the clinic’s dedication, leadership, collaboration, commitment, and innovation in violence prevention efforts. 

Dedicated to providing high quality legal services to persons who have limited access to legal representation, the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic focuses primarily on protecting and advocating on behalf of seniors and domestic violence survivors and their children.

“The cinic is a community leader in promoting peace on several different levels,” the nominator said. “In the area of domestic violence, clinic attorneys and students help turn victims into survivors.”

Supervising attorney Paul Cain oversees the clinic’s daily operations and supervises law students in the clinical program during the school year.

“This award is especially meaningful because the Violence Prevention Collaborative is comprised of various community members such as social service agencies, law enforcement, health care, public housing and the judiciary,” Cain said. “It is a recognition by the community of the myriad services that the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic provides to address violence in the community.” 

In addition to domestic violence, the Giorgi Legal Clinic offers legal services in the areas of mediation, elder law, and self-help for persons representing themselves with the assistance of an attorney.

Clinic attorneys serve on boards and collaborate with local non-profit organizations, the court, and private attorneys including the 17th Judicial Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council, Remedies’ Domestic Violence Program, W.A.V.E. Domestic Abuse Center and the Visiting Nurses Association for services for the elderly. 

Located in downtown Rockford adjacent to the Winnebago County Courthouse, the clinic was established in 2001.

The clinic is named in honor of Edolo Joseph “Zeke” Giorgi, who served as the Illinois House of Representatives for the 67th District from 1965 until his death in 1993, as a tribute to his legislative efforts on behalf of young people, education and his local community. The clinic provides NIU Law students the opportunity to receive hands-on practice of law under the supervision of experienced and highly qualified attorneys and provide quality representation that is both respectful of and responsive to their clients.

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