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Young Professionals Board Transition Announcement

Updated: Aug 19, 2021


August 13, 2021

Young Professionals Board Transition Announcement

CGLA welcomes Sam Schoenburg and Deborah Baker as our new Young Professionals Board (YPB) Co-Chairs.

Members of the YPB are ambassadors of CGLA. They advise and assist in CGLA’s services and cultivate community relationships, as well as lead the planning and execution of the annual Taste for Justice wine tasting. The YPB is comprised of four committees: Volunteerism, Membership, Annual Benefit and Silent Auction, and Wine Tasting Planning. YPB members benefit from membership, networking, professional experience, & philanthropic engagement.

Sam Schoenburg is a litigation associate at the Chicago-based firm Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum. Previously, Sam served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Marvin E. Aspen of the Northern District of Illinois and practiced at the WilmerHale firm in Washington, D.C. Sam attended Yale University and New York University School of Law. In law school, Sam served as a legal intern in the Obama White House Counsel’s Office and as a student advocate in the areas of voting, immigration, and LGBTQ rights. Sam’s current pro bono practice includes representing Detroit homeowners in a class action lawsuit against the City of Detroit, Wayne County, and State of Michigan for a wide-ranging due process violation that deprived Detroiters the ability to appeal their property tax assessments in 2017. Sam grew up in Springfield, Illinois, and has been a member of the CGLA Young Professionals Board since December 2019.

"I've felt for a long time that few injustices are more profound than those caused by the criminal system, particularly for Black and brown communities that have faced a long history of discrimination and disinvestment. So when I heard about CGLA, I knew I had to get involved. CGLA does the hard, daily work to help people overcome the many barriers imposed by the criminal system, while empowering those most affected to advocate for broader change. I couldn't be more thrilled to support an organization with as rich a history and real-world impact as CGLA." - Sam Schoenburg

Deborah (“Dee”) Baker was appointed by Governor Pritzker as a Commissioner for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission in March 2021. Dee is also a part-time adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law where she teaches legal writing and advocacy. In the past, Dee has served as Assistant Deputy Chief Legal Counsel for the Illinois Department of Corrections and as an Assistant Attorney General in the General Law Bureau. Dee is passionate about seeking justice and equity for all and seeks to volunteer her time with organizations such as CGLA that are aligned with her passions. In addition to volunteering with CGLA and serving on the YPB since 2018, Dee is also Chair of the Anti-Human Trafficking Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and mentors survivors of trafficking. Dee is a second generation American of Caribbean descent and she was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"I am passionate about CGLA’s work for more reasons than I can describe. One major reason is that I have seen how the criminal legal system has an enormous negative impact primarily on communities of color, but also on society as a whole. Often, the task of uprooting the inequities embedded in the criminal legal system is viewed as daunting and near-impossible, however, CGLA is an organization that fearlessly attacks this problem head-on with skill, expertise, experience, creativity, passion, and poise. For these reasons, I am thrilled to be part of CGLA, an organization that focuses on eradicating inequity and injustice in the criminal legal system by advocating for innovative alternatives and solutions to the current laws, policies, processes, and practices that comprise the criminal legal system." - Dee Baker


CGLA was established in 1973 to serve legal needs arising from the lack of opportunity, criminalization of poverty, and racial inequity experienced within the Cabrini Green community. Since then, CGLA has grown beyond a single neighborhood to become a citywide, countywide, and now recognized statewide leader in supporting low-income individuals negatively impacted by the criminal justice system. Give Justice a Voice at

For more information, please contact Sherry Ipema:


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