June 22, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC- Laurie I. Mikva, who served for nearly 30 years as a civil legal aid attorney and a public defender in Illinois and Maryland, was confirmed by the Senate on June 19 to become a member of the Board of Directors for the Legal Services Corporation.
"Having worked for most of my career to provide legal services to the poor, I look forward to this opportunity to help shape legal services policy at the national level. I appreciate the vote of confidence from both the President and the Senate as I carry on this important work," Ms. Mikva said.
The White House announced her nomination on April 14, citing her "strong record of working to aid indigent people to obtain necessary legal services." Ms. Mikva currently serves as a staff attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
LSC is the single largest provider of civil legal assistance for the poor in the nation. Established by Congress in 1974, LSC operates as a private, nonprofit organization to promote equal access to justice and to provide high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.
From 1993-2008, Ms. Mikva worked in Champaign, Ill., as a staff attorney at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, the legal aid provider for central and southern Illinois. Specializing in areas of family law and domestic violence, she represented clients in cases involving divorce, custody, orders of protection and child support.
She helped to establish the Domestic Violence Clinic at the University of Illinois College of Law, and supervised students in the Clinic. She collaborated with service providers including shelters, victim advocates, prosecutors, and police to address family violence issues in the community. As Family Law Task Force Chair, she oversaw the provision of family law services throughout the organization, and provided support and training to both legal aid and pro bono attorneys.
From 1988-1991, Ms. Mikva worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Urbana, Illinois, where she represented indigent defendants in criminal cases, and parents in juvenile abuse and neglect proceedings. Before that, she worked in the Appellate Division of the Maryland Public Defender's Office, where she represented indigent appellants in criminal cases.
From 1984-1985, she was a fellow in the Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program at Georgetown University Law School, and from 1983-84 she clerked for Judge Luther M. Swygert on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Ms. Mikva received her law degree from New York University in 1983, where she was a Note Editor for the New York University Law Review.