Staff Bios

CGLA is proud to employ a diverse, caring staff committed to serving each client with professionalism and dignity.

Darryl Apperton, Director of Family Law
Kasey Baldwin, Staff Attorney, Criminal Records
Katie Calhoun, Part Time Criminal Records Attorney
Cynthia Cornelius, Equal Justice Works Fellow
Aisha Edwards, Staff Attorney, Criminal Defense
Susannah Glick, Criminal Records Intake Specialist (Avodah Volunteer)
Peter Hamann, Northwestern University Fellow
Brisseida Hernandez, Receptionist
JaShawn Hill, Client Specialist
Beth Johnson, Director, Legal Programs
Dierdre Johnson, Business Manager
Courtney Kelledes, APBCo Fellow, Criminal Records
Emily Kirschbaum, Social Worker
Eve Kleinerman, Staff Attorney, Criminal Records
Shannon McDonnell, Legal Services Coordinator
Joseph Mole, Director of Operations and Client Support Services
Ryann Moran, Staff Attorney, Housing Law
Casey Potter, Skadden Fellow, Family Law & Criminal Records
Chris Provost, Volunteer & Intake Specialist (Amate House Volunteer)
Jill Roberts, Staff Attorney, Housing Law
Gretchen Slusser, Executive Director


Darryl Apperton, Director of Family Law
Darryl, a seasoned family law attorney in Chicago, re-joined CGLA's staff in September of 2006 as the Director of Family Law. Darryl served as Supervising Attorney at CGLA from 1994 to 2001, practicing in both our Housing and Family Law Programs. In 2001, Darryl left CGLA to open a private family law practice and serve as the Clinic Director of the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic at the Northern Illinois University - College of Law. After three years serving in that capacity and three years as a solo practitioner in family and housing law, Darryl has returned to CGLA to rededicate his talents to public interest law.

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Kasey Baldwin, Staff Attorney, Criminal Records

Kasey first started with CGLA as a volunteer attorney. In 2012, she joined the CGLA staff. As a Staff Attorney in the Criminal Records Program, Kasey oversees the Expungement Help Desk at the Daley Center and Markham Courthouses, as well as the Expungement court call at the 26th and California courthouse. She also maintains an in-office caseload of criminal records cases.

Kasey came to CGLA after practicing law in the Kansas City area, where she was a Public Defender. Her practice there focused on defending adults charged with criminal felonies. Prior to working as a Public Defender, Kasey interned as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Douglas County, Kansas District Court, and a Staff Assistant for the Kansas Criminal Code Recodification Commission.

Kasey graduated from the University of Iowa in 2006 with a B.A. in English and Political Science, with an emphasis in the political process. She received her J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2009.

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Katie Calhoun, Part Time Criminal Records Attorney
Katie recently joined CGLA as a Part Time Criminal Records Attorney, working at the Markham Help desk once a week. Outside of CGLA, Katie works as an attorney in the areas of civil rights law, criminal defense, and immigration.

Katie graduated cum laude from DePaul University College of Law in 2013, with a certificate in Public Interest Law. Through DePaul’s Legal Clinic, Katie has represented clients before the Chicago Immigration Court as well as the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. She has also worked with the Cook County Public Defender’s Officer as a law clerk in the Felony Trial Division.

Katie moved from California to Chicago in 2002 to attend college. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2006 with a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies. Before attending law school, Katie worked on issues of immigration policy and community organizing with the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, in Chicago. Katie has also spent time living and working abroad, in both Spain and Mexico.

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Cynthia Cornelius, Equal Justice Works Fellow
Cynthia joined CGLA in September 2012 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by the Albert and Anne Mansfield Family Foundation.  Cynthia’s two-year fellowship project will help the clients of homelessness organizations in Chicago to access their legal options for clearing their records.  The project will utilize a corps of law student and attorney volunteers who will work with case managers at partner organizations to ensure that those who are eligible and ready are able to remove their record as a barrier to getting back on their feet.

Cynthia graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in May 2012 with a degree of Juris Doctor and a Certificate in Public Interest Law. Cynthia was a non-traditional law student, having accumulated over 30 years of professional experience before entering law school, including the role of Director of Consumer Affairs at the Georgia Public Service Commission where she advocated for consumers and enforced consumer protection laws governing utility service providers. While attending law school, Cynthia found an outlet to fulfill her passion to serve and advocate for the poor and disenfranchised by volunteering at several Chicago-area non-profit organizations, including Cabrini Green Legal Aid. Cynthia also founded the Loyola Expungement Assistance Project for Cabrini Green Legal Aid (LEAP for CGLA) to provide opportunities for law students to acquire hands-on legal experience at Cabrini Green Legal Aid’s Expungement Help Desk. These three initiatives inspired Cynthia’s Equal Justice Works fellowship proposal. 

Cynthia’s volunteerism during law school earned her recognition as Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Black Law Students Association 2010 Member of the Year, Cabrini Green Legal Aid’s 2010 Law School Volunteer of the Year, Union League Civic and Arts Foundation’s Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Summer 2011 Intern, and Illinois Legal Aid Online’s Illinois Pro Bono Volunteer of the Month for July 2011.

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Aisha Edwards, Staff Attorney, Criminal Defense
Aisha Cornelius Edwards joined CGLA as a staff attorney in Criminal Defense in August 2013. Aisha was previously employed as an Assistant State’s Attorney for eight years with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. While there, she gained valuable experience in criminal litigation by handling hundreds of trials, motions, and hearings on various criminal violations, including misdemeanors, traffic offenses, and domestic violence offenses. She was also assigned to preliminary hearings in the 5th district, special prosecutions for domestic violence in the 6th district, presiding Judge Paul Biebel’s courtroom in the first district, and the felony review unit. Aisha has argued appeals in front of the First District Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court.

Aisha graduated from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2005 where she was selected as the Law School’s President’s Medallion recipient, an honor bestowed to a single student from each school at the University who exhibits outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service. While a student, Aisha was active in various student groups and activities, including the Advocacy Honors Moot Court Executive Board, BLSA Executive Board, the Child Law Clinic, and was a staff editor for both the Consumer Law Review and Public Interest Law Reporter. Aisha’s commitment to law students at Loyola continued after graduation through mentorship and coaching moot court and she was awarded the 2006 BLSA Young Alumni Service award, and 2007 Loyola School of Law Advocacy Honors Program Coach of the Year.

Aisha’s commitment to public service has encompassed more than her legal career and she has worked in various non-profit arenas, such as advocating for child lead poisoning prevention with CIVITAS Childlaw Center; legislative funding of early education and afterschool programs for kids at Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois and the Illinois Center for Violence Prevention; economic empowerment via Community Collaboration for Economic Development; and educational equality for under –resourced students through Youth Renaissance Alliance. In 2009, the Loyola School of Law selected Aisha as the Norman C. Amaker Award of Excellence Recipient; an award given to an individual who exemplifies the ideals and model set by the late Professor and Civil Rights Activist it is named for. Aisha is married to Marvin Edwards and they have two wonderful kids.

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Sussanah Glick, Criminal Records Intake Specialist (Avodah Volunteer)
Susannah joined CGLA in September 2013 as the AVODAH volunteer for the 2013-2014 year. As a criminal records intake specialist, Susannah works at the Expungement Help Desk at the Daley Center, schedules intake appointments for potential criminal records clients as well as assists in the facilitation of volunteer attorneys at expungement and sealing court.

Susannah graduated cum laude in 2013 from The George Washington University with a B.A. in American Studies. During college, Susannah was active in advocacy and non-profit work and interned with numerous agencies including lobbyist firms and social service organizations. Susannah is currently applying to law school for the fall of 2014 and aspires to be a public interest attorney.

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Peter Hamann, Northwest University Fellow
Peter is a juvenile justice fellow in CGLA’s criminal defense program. In addition to the criminal defense caseload, he focuses on a spectrum of juvenile justice matters ranging from juvenile delinquency to school discipline proceedings. Peter also works at the Juvenile Expungement Help Desk, a collaboration between CGLA and Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.

Peter graduated Cum Laude from Northwestern University School of Law in May 2013. During school he was a clinical student at the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center. He was a summer associate at the civil rights firm Loevy & Loevy, was a public interest intern at the West Town Community Law Office in Humboldt Park and was a judicial extern for the Honorable Edmond E. Chang in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Peter graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Anthropology.

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Brisseida Hernandez, Receptionist
Bris joined the CGLA team as our Receptionist after working with Cynthia Cornelius as a law student volunteer with the Criminal Records Corps. She has spent extensive time working closely with immigration organizations to provide legal resources to the immigrant community.

Bris graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago in 2010 with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. She is currently a part time evening student at Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is excited to be part of CGLA and contribute to their mission of empowering clients through zealous legal advocacy.

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JaShawn Hill, Client Specialist
JaShawn joined the CGLA family in August of 2007 as CGLA's receptionist. In 2008, with hard work and dedication to CGLA, she became our Office Manager and recently became our Client Specialist in February, 2012.

JaShawn came to CGLA through The Cara Program, a job training and placement program. Most recently, JaShawn graduated from Northeastern IL University with her Bachelor's degree in Social Work. The inspiration to advance her education came from the vision of our organization. Our vision states that we want clients to leave us stronger than they came, and JaShawn is anxious to continue being an advocate for those who desire needs outside of their legal problems.

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Beth Johnson, Program Director
Beth has been an attorney with CGLA since 2005 and serves as Director of the Criminal Records Program.  She is engaged in community outreach, education and advocacy work, and partnering with community based organizations throughout the Chicagoland area.  Through the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, she provides trainings on criminal records related issues and recently authored an article on Expungement and Sealing (“Expungement and Sealing:  A Lawyer’s Guide).  She has worked successfully with other advocacy groups to pass expansions and clarifications to criminal records laws in the General Assembly. 

Beth has been recognized for her public interest work, receiving Loan Repayment Assistance Awards through the Chicago Bar Foundation Sun-Times Fellowship and DePaul University’s Center for Public Interest Law.  She has received an award for her work from former State Representative Constance Howard and was one of the 2010 recipients of the Safer Foundation’s Visionary Award.  She was recently recognized by the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court as one of the 2011 Outstanding Women in Non-Profits.  She is a 2005 graduate of DePaul University’s College of Law, receiving a Certificate in Public Interest Law. 

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Dierdre Johnson, Business Manager
Since joining CGLA’s staff in the summer of 2002, Dierdre’s role with the organization has steadily grown and expanded.From the start, her welcoming manner established the personal touch that is so highly valued by all who come through the doors of CGLA. As Business Manager, Dierdre is responsible for ensuring an efficient and effective work environment at CGLA’s main office and at our satellite sites. Dierdre manages day-to-day finances, human resources, technology and business systems. She also serves as the primary point of contact for CGLA’s many vendor relationships.

In addition to overseeing the business functions of our main office, Dierdre stays connected to clients through coordination of CGLA's satellite intakes at St. Sabina Church on Chicago's south side and Breakthrough Urban Ministries on the west side.

In 2011, Dierdre successfully completed the Mediation Skills Training through the Center for Conflict Resolution, and she is currently studying criminal justice and business administration as she furthers her education. Outside of the office, Dierdre is active in the lives of her children, church and community including as a volunteer for the Chicago Marathon!

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  Courtney Kelledes, APBCo Fellow, Criminal Records

Courtney's IMPACT Chicago Fellowship is part of a collaborative pro bono project working to increase capacity to assist clients with alternative forms of criminal records relief. In addition to coordinating pro bono referrals and citywide records relief events, Courtney works the Daley Center Expungement Help Desk and the Expungement court call at the 26th and California courthouse.

Courtney first became involved with CGLA's Criminal Records Program when she focused her 1L independent summer project as an intern with Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) on expanding resources for individuals with criminal records. In the fall of 2011 she started volunteering at CGLA's Expungement Help Desk. She interned with CGLA in the Criminal Records Program during the summer of 2012, and returned to CGLA for a second internship her last semester of school. During law school, Courtney also externed with the People's Law Office, volunteered at the Public Defender's office, and participated in the DePaul Civil Rights Clinic. These combined experiences solidified Courtney's dedication to working with those negatively impacted by the criminal justice system.

Courtney graduated Cum Laude from DePaul University College of Law in May 2013, with a Certificate in Public Interest Law. She was awarded one of six Senior Service Awards given at graduation commencement for her dedication to public interest law and was a recipient of the Benjamin Hooks Service Award for completing over 200 hours of volunteer work during law school. Courtney also organized the first-ever action component of DePaul's annual public interest symposium, in which DePaul and CGLA partnered to host a clinic providing alternative forms of relief to clients with criminal records.

Prior to law school, Courtney worked in non-profit development in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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  Emily Kirschbaum, Social Worker

Emily Kirschbaum first came to CGLA as a Masters of Social Work (MSW) Student Intern in September 2012 and she started as a Social Worker after graduation in May of 2013. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from her MSW program at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams College of Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health. She is currently in the process of applying for and accruing hours to obtain both her Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) licenses. She currently works with a caseload of clients from all legal departments providing social work case management services. She also contributes with the rest of the Client Support Services team to create life skills courses and support groups for our clients.

Prior to working at CGLA, Emily graduated from her Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) program Cum Laude from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. While at Hope, she also completed a French minor and volunteered for various social service agencies in the West Michigan area for emergency case management and poverty relief. She completed her BSW field practicum at two agencies in the fields of foster care and dual-diagnosis treatment in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania through a domestic study abroad program called The Philadelphia Center. She spent some time volunteering for a non-profit in Ntinda, Uganda in the summer of 2009 and continues to enjoy world travel and humanitarian aid.

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Eve Kleinerman, Staff Attorney, Criminal Records
Eve joined CGLA in July 2012 as a Staff Attorney in the Criminal Records Program. Eve came to CGLA after practicing law in New York for two years, where she was a Public Defender.   Her practice there focused on domestic violence related criminal cases as well as the accompanying family court cases.  During law school Eve completed internships with the Children’s Law Center, New York County Defender Services and Women’s Prison Association. 

Eve oversees the Expungement Help Desk at the Daley Center, conducts monthly training sessions for Help Desk volunteers as well as maintaining an in-office caseload of criminal records related cases. Eve represents clients facing criminal records issues in criminal court as well as in front of the Prisoner Review Board.  

Eve graduated in 2007 with a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from University of Maryland and in 2010 she graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with a concentration in Criminal Law and Litigation.

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Shannon McDonnell, Legal Services Coordinator Coordinator
Shannon joined CGLA in 2011 as a full-time volunteer from the Amate House. Originally from Spokane, WA, Shannon graduated from the University of Portland (OR) with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. 

Deciding not to pursue a career in nursing, she moved to Boston and worked for a staffing agency for two years.  Shannon decided to apply to Amate House after wanting to pursue a more fulfilling career path, and was extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to work at CGLA.  After her year of service as the Client Services Coordinator, Shannon joined the team in June 2012 as the Legal Services Coordinator.  Outside of work, Shannon enjoys exploring Chicago.

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  Joseph Mole, Director of Operations & Client Support Services
Stepping into a dual role as Director of Operations and Client Support Services, Joe brings nearly 15 years of experience working in faith and community-based social service organizations, both large and small. 

During his 10-year career with The Salvation Army, Joe provided training, oversight and program evaluation to a wide range of social service programs in over half of the United States. His career-defining accomplishment was the development and implementation of a comprehensive child abuse prevention program which utilized education, policy alignment and compliance monitoring to orchestrate large-scale organizational change around issues of safety for vulnerable children and youth.

Joe received his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan in 2001, where his studies focused on management of human service organizations. Prior to that, he earned a BA in Philosophy/Religion & Sociology from Spring Arbor University. Joe is a licensed social worker, an active member of LaSalle Street Church, and also served as an inaugural member of CGLA’s Young Professionals Board. On the weekends you’ll find him out walking his dog, an 85-lb Rhodesian Ridgeback named Savannah.

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Ryann Moran, Staff Attorney, Housing Law
Ryann joined CGLA’s Housing Law Program in January 2013. Previously, she’d worked at Uptown People’s Law Center, where she practiced housing law, social security disability and public benefits law.

Ryann graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2007. As a law student, Ryann was a leader with the Student Hurricane Network, which coordinated law student volunteers from across the country to provide legal assistance to Gulf Coast residents recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Her time in New Orleans working on behalf of public housing residents inspired Ryann to dedicate her career to housing law.

Her commitment to public service has been recognized by the Chicago Bar Foundation, the Women’s Bar Foundation of Illinois, and DePaul University’s Center for Public Interest Law. 

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Casey Potter, Skadden Fellow, Family Law & Criminal Records

Bio Coming soon...

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  Chris Provost, Intake & Volunteer Specialist (Amate House Volunteer)

Chris joined CGLA in August 2013 as the Amate House volunteer for the 2013-2014 year. Chris’s responsibilities include scheduling potential clients for intake interviews for the Housing, Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Criminal Records program areas, conducting intake interviews and presenting potential cases to the lawyers and attorneys at CGLA. Chris is also responsible for assisting the many volunteers that come through CGLA. Chris is very excited to be a part of this wonderful team.

Chris received his undergraduate degree in Sociology from Merrimack College in North Andover, MA. He hopes to go to graduate school to receive a Masters in Social Work.

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Jill Roberts, Staff Attorney, Housing Law
Jill represents clients in both Family and Housing law cases at Cabrini Green Legal Aid.  Before becoming a CGLA staff attorney in November 2010, Jill interned at CGLA in the summer of 2006 as a law student and continued to volunteer and remain active in the CGLA family.  She previously served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago representing clients living in poverty in multiple areas of law as part of the Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children.  Jill completed a judicial clerkship with the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Detroit Immigration Court in September 2009.  Jill graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2008 with a certificate in public interest law.  She also earned a bachelors degree in sociology from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana in 2005.  Jill spent a semester during college in Seville, Spain and now utilizes her Spanish language skills to serve CGLA’s Spanish speaking clients.

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Gretchen Slusser, Executive Director
Gretchen comes to CGLA from thredpartners, a Chicago-based management consulting firm she co-founded in 2004.  She first became involved with CGLA as a volunteer and a donor, and has a long history of volunteerism and service both locally and internationally.  Gretchen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Marketing and minor in Political Science.  She also earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute.

Gretchen has over 18 years of experience in designing and implementing project-based, technology and business solutions.  Her industry focus has been education, financial services and high-tech.  A subject matter expert with a passion for developing creative solutions that drive change has contributed to her success in the Management Consulting arena.

A passion for community and people and the desire to provide opportunities for the people of Chicago is what drives Gretchen today.  She believes that CGLA is making a difference in the lives of those they serve and she is thrilled to be a part of the organization.

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