Lacy Burpee, Staff Attorney and Ready to Work (R2W) Program Coordinator in our Waukegan office, was recently presented with the Joseph R. Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award from the Illinois State Bar Association at the organization’s 145th Annual Meeting.

As Program Coordinator, Lacy provides direct legal services to clients in the work of each of the Projects (R2W Project funded by the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois; the Access to Justice (A2J) Project funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services and administered by the Westside Justice Center; and New Leaf Illinois, another State program administered by the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation), but also oversees the delivery of legal services provided by project attorneys across all affected offices. Lacy also plays the crucial role of educating lawyers in criminal records relief matters. She assures program accountability with the various funders by compiling monthly data and narrative reports for the A2J program, as well as quarterly and bi-annual reports for R2W and New Leaf, while being Prairie State’s primary liaison with the key staff of the funding bodies.

Her nominators wrote: “Lacy has made a lasting impact on the lives of many of her clients. For example, Lacy interviewed a client who needed assistance with criminal records relief. She helped her client draft and file petitions to seal and expunge his records in two counties. She successfully represented the client at his court hearings to seal or expunge all of his criminal records. Once his records were sealed, the client was able to apply for welding jobs without being turned down simply because of his criminal background.”

“I am honored to have received the Joseph R. Bartylak award from the Illinois Bar Foundation,” said Lacy. “Thank you to my colleagues for nominating me. Joseph Bartylak did so much to increase access to justice in our communities and it is an incredible privilege to be chosen for an award in his name.”

The award is named in memory of Alton attorney and long-time ISBA member Joe Bartylak, who was executive director of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation (now Land of Lincoln Legal Aid) for nearly 30 years. The award honors the extraordinary commitment and dedication of a civil legal services attorney who provided the highest caliber of compassionate legal representation to Illinois’ vulnerable and low-income population.