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The Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL), a nonprofit legal service organization in Chicago, announces the opening of four Suburban Legal Assistance Clinics to better serve older adults in suburban Cook County. The clinics will be available beginning in November.

Since 1984, CDEL has provided legal services, pro bono, to low-income residents of Cook County who are either seniors and/or persons with disabilities. CDEL focuses its services on legal issues that have a significant impact on its target populations, including housing, financial matters, estate and end of life planning, and financial exploitation and abuse.

While CDEL has always offered legal services to older adults throughout Cook County, those who live in the suburbs have frequently found it difficult to access these services. Through the clinics, CDEL will be able to provide access to its services to eligible seniors in more convenient locations in the communities in which they live.

The Suburban Legal Assistance Clinics will be located in existing senior centers in four suburbs that have a significant percentage of low-income residents: West Suburban Senior Services in Bellwood, South Suburban Senior Services - Argento Center in Calumet City, Solutions for Care in North Riverside and Bloom Township Senior Services in Chicago Heights. The clinics will be open one Tuesday a month at each of the four senior centers.

Older adults interested in requesting legal services at one of the Suburban Legal Access Clinics may contact CDEL at (312)376-1880, extension 22.  Eligible callers will be given an appointment at the clinic most convenient for them.

The Borchard Center on Law and Aging has provided funding for a full-time fellow, Caroline Manley, to develop and operate the clinics. Ms. Manley is a recent graduate of DePaul College of Law and has worked with older adults throughout her life. Last year, she worked in a partnership with CDEL and West Suburban Senior Services to provide legal services in the western suburbs. The great need for legal services outside the Chicago city limits inspired her fellowship proposal.