Staff

Executive Director, Susan Shulman

Susan has spent her career in public interest law, law firms and the business world.  Most recently, Susan was General Counsel and Director of Operations for Metrist Partners.  Prior to joining Metrist Partners, Susan was the Pro Bono Initiative Director at the Public Interest Law Initiative. In that role, Susan worked with lawyers at law firms and corporations to facilitate increased participation in pro bono legal work and to focus greater attention on the unmet legal needs of low-income individuals. Susan consulted with over 70 law firms and corporations on launching and reinvigorating their pro bono programs. She also succeeded in tapping previously untapped resources for pro bono work, including transactional attorneys and attorneys at corporations, and fostered the first pro bono partnerships between law firms and corporate legal departments in Chicago. Her efforts resulted in a 16% increase in pro bono work by law firm attorneys, and a 156% increase in pro work by attorneys at corporations.

Managing Attorney, Karla Livney

Karla Livney is an attorney who practiced at McDermott, Will & Emery and Goldberg, Kohn working with clients in the areas of commercial and employment litigation. Through her involvement as a Board Member of the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Foundation, she became involved with the Chicago Charter School Foundation, one of the first charter schools in Chicago, eventually leaving private practice to become the Executive Director of that organization. As a result of being an active member of School District 112 Superintendent’s Citizen Finance and Facilities Committee, she ran and was elected for a seat on the District 112 School Board. During the four years of her term, Karla focused on finances, union contract negotiations, employment disputes, facilities, school standards, curriculum, diversity, community relations, and solutions to the District’s significant financial and facilities challenges. Karla has also been an active volunteer at Pro Bono Network, an organization that partners with legal aid agencies to offer legal services to those in need.

Director of Immigration Law Practice, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz

Jennifer is an immigration attorney who has devoted her career to human rights advocacy and social justice. While a litigation associate at Winston & Strawn, Jennifer developed a parallel pro bono immigration practice working through the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) representing unaccompanied immigrant children. As pro bono counsel, Jennifer successfully represented clients in removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review obtaining asylum in gender-based persecution cases that advanced novel theories of immigration law. As a former member of NIJC’s Leadership Council, Jennifer served as co-chair of the Illinois Unaccompanied Immigrant Children’s Task Force.  Jennifer holds a Master of Law Degree in International Human Rights Law from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and has published on gendered war crimes in the Northwestern Journal of Human Rights. Jennifer’s advocacy has earned recognition through the Chicago Bar Association as a Pro Bono Leadership Award recipient as well as World Refugee Day speaker and honoree.

Director of Domestic Violence Practice, Marykay Foy

Marykay Foy comes to the Clinic after serving as a prosecutor for 19 years in the State’s Attorney Office of Lake County. During the last five years of her tenure, she was assigned to the Felony Domestic Violence Division.  She is the Past President of the Jefferson Inn, an American Inns of Court (AIC), where she continues to serve on the Board of Directors. In addition, she was also the President of the Association of Women Attorneys of Lake County, where she continues to serve on the Board.  Previously, Foy was an active member of the Lake County Bar Association. She has also served on the Executive Board of A Safe Place as Secretary and Vice-President.  “Marykay is a critical addition to our team as we strive to provide a Domestic Violence program that will assist victims of domestic violence with a full range of services that can address the ever-growing needs of victims and work to prevent violence even if it has not occurred yet,” said Susan Shulman, Executive Director of the Clinic.  “She brings expertise, depth of knowledge, relationships with our partner agencies, and a passion for the cause that will serve our clients and communities well.”  Foy attended Loyola University, Chicago School of Law, interning at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, the U.S. Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office. Prior to that time, she worked for 20 years in the insurance industry working in commercial and professional liability insurance markets after graduating from Marquette University.

Director of Client Services and Bilingual Staff Assistant, Alicia De La Cruz

Alicia De La Cruz is a Mexican Immigrant with degrees in Marketing and Accounting. After working in the private sector for many years, Alicia transitioned to non-profit service, working for 12 years at Open Communities where she found her passion helping others and organizing tenants, homeowners and immigrant leaders to ensure they play an active role in the development decisions that affect them. Alicia has been an active volunteer with the Latino Leadership Project, the Highland Park-based social service agency Family Network and the Art Center of Highland Park. She is also a board member of the Community Advisory Committee for Highland Park Hospital. Alicia is the founder and coordinator of Working Together, a grassroots organization that supports the Latino families of Highwood and Highland Park with educational, cultural and recreational activities. In 2016, Alicia received the Highland Park Humanitarian Award, an award presented to outstanding Highland Park individuals who have rendered significant personal service to the community.

Database Manager, Leonard Xavier

Leonard Xavier joined the HPHLAC as a volunteer in April of 2015 and worked tirelessly with Karyn Davidman to create a sophisticated database that allows us to track and monitor client legal matters and all clinic operations. Before his retirement in 2015, Lenny worked for 30 years with the Department of Defense as Director of its Midwest Document Automation Services. Lenny initially sought general office work, but the Clinic and he realized that with his experience, he was the one person who could create and maintain the kind of complex data management system we needed. Now on staff as Database Manager, Lenny Xavier provides administrative and IT support to the staff and to the HPHLAC.