Illinois Legal Aid Online's staff members are committed to innovation, simplifying the law and legal processes, and using technology to help people solve their legal problems more easily. We are a diverse group that includes lawyers, techies, fundraisers, and nonprofit professionals.
Legal Content Volunteer Coordinator
As Legal Content Volunteer Coordinator, Kira is the liaison between volunteers and content managers. Prior to serving at ILAO, Kira worked with refugees at the Refugee Women's Clinic and Refugee Focus in Phoenix, AZ, and Kara Tepe and MetaDrasi, both refugee camps on Lesvos Island, Greece. Kira is a die-hard Sun Devil's fan, with a BA and MA from Arizona State University.
Karla supports ILAO by managing its office operations, human resources functions and supporting staff. She has held previous positions as a QA Tester and Project Manager and served as a Health Volunteer in the Peace Corps in Mauritania, West Africa. She has one daughter and one yorkie.
Caroline supports fundraising + communications at ILAO and manages its Young Professionals Board. Immediately prior to joining ILAO, she served as AmeriCorps VISTA at Legal Council for Health Justice, where she built capacity through process improvement, project management, and grant writing. Caroline previously managed persuasive-writing and tech projects for Palantir.net, Qvidian, + SmartForce.
Legal Answers Program Manager
Nicole recruits and supports the volunteer lawyers who answer legal questions posted by lower income clients on the secure website, IL.freelegalanswers.org. Nicole is a graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and has devoted her legal career to working with people who would not otherwise have access to legal help.
Chris Swope Cholewa
As Development Director, Chris leads ILAO’s fundraising efforts by managing grants, events, giving, and strategic alliances. Chris has more than 25 years of experience with nonprofits creating engaging relationships, building upon organizational strengths, and developing long-term sustainability. Chris is active in her hometown of Lombard, and is on the Board of Directors of Lombard Town Centre.
Community Engagement Manager
As Community Engagement Manager, Amy directs ILAO’s marketing, outreach, training, and support to ILAO's members and partner organizations to ensure they are effectively using ILAO's products and services. She received her AM from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and her JD from Emory University School of Law. Amy lives in Chicago's #1 neighborhood, Logan Square.
For 15 years, Lisa has led Illinois Legal Aid Online by cultivating innovation, guiding strategy, and connecting people. She believes that technology, innovation, and simplification are the key to 100% access for all to the legal system. Lisa holds degrees from Rutgers University and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is enamored by games and shiny things.
Software Product Director
Gwen is ILAO's Software Product Director and has been with ILAO since 2004. She is the product owner for IllinoisLegalAid.org and leads our technology team to ensure our technology environment meets the needs of users and aligns with the organization’s strategic goals. Gwen is a full-stack Drupal developer, has a B.B.A, and is a graduate of DePaul University's College of Law.
As the Finance Director, Jessica oversees all areas of accounting and financial management for ILAO. Jessica was most recently a Senior Accounting Analyst at Tenneco, Inc. in the SEC Reporting and Consolidations group and a Senior Audit Associate at Crowe Horwath. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an MS in Accounting in 2006.
A hard-core content strategy evangelist, creative professional who is energized by the possibilities of technology, Maureen understands the importance of putting in time upfront to save time in the long run to make websites as frustration-free as possible. Maureen speaks French, lived in France for a number of years before returning to Chicago with her husband and two boys.
User Experience Research Coordinator
As User Experience Research Coordinator, Aileen assists with ILAO's user research efforts including user research design, planning and execution. Before joining ILAO, Aileen worked at Grubhub, where she worked in restaurant care while running SLICE, the company's internal restaurant and test environment. Aileen holds an MS degree in Human Computer Interaction from DePaul University.
Automated Documents Producer
As Automated Documents Producer, Matt creates and supports ILAO's guided interviews and automated forms. After getting a J.D. from DePaul College of Law, he worked for 3 years as staff attorney at LAF. He then spent 11 years doing IT support at Northwestern University, where he earned an M.S. in Computer Information Systems. Matt enjoys exploring and building worlds in Minecraft with his daughter.
As Content Manager, Dennis manages ILAO's legal resources and outreach efforts to low-income, LEP and immigrant communities in Illinois. Dennis has served these communities as a passionate advocate throughout his legal career. He holds a J.D. from Mexico and a Master of Law from the University of Georgia School of Law. Dennis is an international rugby player and classically trained guitarist.
As Program Director, Teri leads ILAO's content, technology and outreach staff. She fosters strategic partnerships with local and national leaders and groups, pursues innovations, and leads development of new and transformed products and services. A graduate of DePaul College of Law & Northwestern University, Teri has the unfortunate distinction of being the sole nonredhead in her family.
As a Content Manager, Andrew helps oversee the content ILAO publishes on the web. Previously, Andrew was a Co-Supervising Manager at the Chicago-Kent Self-Help Web Center, and a Chicago Bar Foundation intern at the Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS). He holds a BA from Indiana University and a JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Livehelp Program Coordinator
As LiveHelp Program Coordinator, Tevin provides support and manages the LiveHelp volunteers that give people assistance navigating the website and getting the information they need. Tevin earned a B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University where he was a double major in Justice Studies and Political Science. He is an avid sports fan and political enthusiast.