Andy Froelich, Equal Justice Works Fellow at the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, will receive the prestigious $25,000 Kimball R. Anderson and Karen Gatsis Anderson Public Interest Law Fellowship from the Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation.
Froelich and six other awardees will be publicly acknowledged at the CBA & CBF Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Chicago on Thursday, July 20, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. CT.
Each year the CBF partners with The Chicago Bar Association to recognize exemplary attorneys in the Chicago legal community. The CBF annually awards one Public Interest Law Fellowship, selecting an individual who demonstrates a commitment to public interest work, academic achievement in law school, and outstanding character & integrity.
“Andy’s big heart is uniquely coupled with his keen legal and community organizing skills,” Patrick Keenan-Devlin, Executive Director of the Moran Center, said. “This has resulted in both personal victories for young people and tangible programmatic achievements to the advancement of restorative justice.”
Starting as a Law Clerk at the Moran Center in January 2020, Froelich was selected for an Equal Justice Works fellowship in 2021 to fund the expansion of the Moran Center’s Education Advocacy Program (EAP) to pilot services in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.
The goal of this community-based program is to create greater access to education opportunity by providing free legal services to low-income families of youth facing special education and school discipline challenges. Services range from representing students with special needs in obtaining the services they need to succeed in school, to advocating for students facing exclusion from school, as well as equipping caregivers with tools to advocate for their child’s educational rights
Froelich, who works side-by-side with social workers and restorative justice practitioners to advance the Moran Center’s holistic approach to criminal justice form, said the Rogers Park pilot has been an important contribution to education advocacy in Illinois.
“This project has continuously affirmed that comprehensive and community-based education advocacy provides one of the greatest tools a community has to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline,” Froelich said.
In the first year of this pilot, Froelich provided legal representation to 20 children, offered 10 community-based “Know Your Rights” workshops, and attended 45 meetings with 10 partner organizations to build meaningful institutional connections within Rogers Park.
The CBF is the charitable arm of the Chicago Bar Association, and the largest voluntarily supported bar foundation in the country. The generous contributions of thousands of dedicated individuals, more than 200 law firms and corporations, and many other committed partners make the CBF’s work possible. Thanks to that strong support, the CBF awards more than $2 million in grants each year and plays a lead role in a number of innovative access to justice initiatives.
The James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy (“Moran Center”) provides integrated legal, social work, and restorative justice services to disinvested youth and their families to improve their quality of life at home, at school, and within the community. For more information, visit moran-center.org