|Linda Rothnagel Receives Prestigious Award From Illinois Bar Association
Linda Rothnagel, Director of Advocacy Training and Volunteer Services at Prairie State Legal Services, received the Joseph R. Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) during a Thursday, July 11, ceremony in Chicago.
The award honors the extraordinary commitment and dedication of a civil legal services attorney who provides the highest caliber of compassionate legal representation to Illinois' low-income population. It is named in memory of Alton attorney and long-time ISBA member Joseph R. Bartylak, who was Executive Director at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation for nearly 30 years.
Linda Rothnagel has worked at Prairie State Legal Services for 37 years, serving as a staff attorney, a managing attorney, a pro-bono coordinator, and director of advocacy training. She has assisted thousands of clients directly and thousands more indirectly by virtue of her supervision and training.
“Our clients come to Prairie State often with life issues that involve basic human need. Linda has provided representation to clients facing domestic violence, loss of subsidized housing, eligibility for medical services, income maintenance, veterans’ benefits, mortgage foreclosures, and just about any civil issue that comes through our doors,” writes Prairie State Co-Director of Litigation Bernard Shapiro, who nominated Rothnagel for the award.
“What most stands out about Linda is her obvious compassion for all of Prairie State’s clients. She demonstrates this passion by working nights, early mornings and weekends, and taking on a number of responsibilities to assist staff to provide quality and compassionate legal representation to vulnerable persons,” Shapiro writes.
Linda Rothnagel is the second person from Prairie State Legal Services to receive the award since its inception in 2011. Shapiro received the award in 2013.
With 12 office locations serving 36 counties in Northern and Central Illinois, Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. works to ensure equal access to justice and fair treatment under the law by providing legal advice and representation, advocacy, education, and outreach that serve to protect basic human needs and enforce or uphold rights. It provides free legal services for low-income persons and those age 60 and over who have serious civil legal problems and need legal help to solve them.