Stars: They’re Just Like Us! (A2J Edition)

A2J with Angela Guest Blog Post by Cortney Redman, Regional Coordinator for Cook County, JusticeCorps

Although I do all of my reading online now, I’ve always been a fan of print media, and especially magazines. I love thumbing through their glossy pages while standing in line at the carryout or waiting for my appointment at the doctor’s office.

One magazine I’ve always found particularly entertaining is US Weekly. They have this very amusing reoccurring article called “Stars: They’re Just Like Us!” where they show pictures of celebrities doing things that everyday people might.

Like riding bikes…

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…or getting parking tickets!

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While I haven’t seen an US Weekly in quite some time, I was reminded of this article series at the end of last year when a celebrity – native to Chicago – got lost during his visit to the Richard J. Daley Center.

If you’ve never been to the Daley Center before, picture a 30-story building with 2 additional subterranean floors, 2 main floor entrances with 12 revolving doors through which to enter, and 5 additional underground entrances.

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And once you’re in, it doesn’t get any easier because there are essentially no signs to point you in the right direction due to the building’s historical landmark status.  Even if you know exactly where you need to go, it will still be hard to get to your destination because you’ll have to figure out which particular elevators, escalators, or combination of the two you ‘ll need to take to get there.

In an effort to try to make courthouses in Illinois, including the Daley Center, easier to navigate and more accessible to the general public, a little over ten years ago, The Chicago Bar Foundation created Illinois JusticeCorps. The Illinois JusticeCorps program trains college graduates and current undergraduate students to serve as docents for court patrons throughout the state. In collaboration with the Illinois Bar Foundation and the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, Illinois JusticeCorps is now in 13 courthouses in 10 different counties.

While the program serves the same mission at all of its sites: making the courts a more welcoming environment for people without lawyers, the way that the JusticeCorps members accomplish this mission varies slightly from site to site. At the Daley Center, the JusticeCorps members give court patrons directions to courtrooms and offices in and near the Daley Center. They also provide invaluable legal information to people without lawyers so that they can better understand their court cases. JusticeCorps members also provide support as well as referrals to the many court-based help desks and other services at the Daley Center – while we are lucky to have such a wealth of free legal assistance in Chicago, it can often be hard to figure out where to start, so JusticeCorps helps by triaging court patrons to the appropriate service.

So, I bet you’ve been wondering how this is related to a celebrity gossip magazine. Well, remember when I said that there was a Chicago celebrity who got lost at the Daley Center last year? Well, as it turns out, sometimes stars get Lost and need directions…

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That’s right, Chance the Rapper and his fiancé came to the Daley Center at the end of last year to get a marriage license. After ending up in one of the long halls of the pedway in the basement of the building, they stopped to ask an Illinois JusticeCorps member where to go. They got directions to the County Clerk’s office, obtained their marriage license, and are now happily married.

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Stars: they really are just like us!

About the Author:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACortney Redman joined the CBF staff as the Illinois JusticeCorps Regional Coordinator for Cook County in October 2016. The JusticeCorps program enhances access to justice for the growing number of unrepresented people in the courts by empowering and training student volunteers and AmeriCorps members to help people without lawyers navigate the court system. As Regional Coordinator for Cook County, Cortney is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the JusticeCorps sites located at the Richard J. Daley Center, the Cook County Sixth Municipal District Courthouse in Markham, and the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Waukegan.

Before joining the CBF, Cortney worked for the Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc., where she handled both immigration and domestic relations cases. In addition to maintaining her caseload, Cortney also served as Staff Liaison to CLC’s Auxiliary Board. An active member of her community, Cortney has been a volunteer at both Universidad Popular and Albany Park Community Center, assisting in teaching English as a Second Language and Adult Basic Education.

Cortney earned her law degree and Public Interest Law Certificate from the DePaul College of Law in 2014. During her time at DePaul, Cortney participated in the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic as well as the Housing and Community Development Clinic. In 2011, she graduated summa cum laude from Bowling Green State University, where she studied both English Literature and Spanish.

Originally from Ohio, Cortney has lived in Chicago since 2011. She currently resides in Humboldt Park, where she and her partner own a home and two dogs together.

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