Margaret Benson

Executive Director

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services



Member since:


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Meg is the Executive Director of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, a not-for-profit agency that provides free legal services to thousands of low-income people each year through the use of more than 2,000 active volunteer attorneys. She received her law degree from Loyola University Chicago College of Law in 1979, joined CVLS in 1982, became deputy director in 1983 and executive director in 2004.

While responsible for overall program management and funding, Meg also coordinates CVLS’ bench, barand law firm relations. An experienced family law litigator, Meg helped draft substantive changes to the Illinois Probate Act and still steps in on minor guardianship cases from time to time. She regularly speaks on child custody, client and pro bono issues for the ISBA, CBA and IICLE and writes a bi-monthly column on pro bono for the Chicago Lawyer.

In 2015 Meg was honored with The Chicago Inn of Court Donald Hubert Public Service Award. Prior honors include the Association of Corporate Counsel-Chicago Chapter’s Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012; the Illinois State Bar Association’s Board of Governors Award in 2007; the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Thomas H. Morsch Public Service Award in 2001; the Lawyers Trust Fund ofIllinois’ Esther Rothstein Award in 1999 and Loyola University School of Law’s Public Service Award in1994.

Meg is an active member of ISBA’s Legislation Committee and former chair of its LawPac Board. Sheserves on the CBA’s Pro Bono Week Committee and co-chairs the Advisory Committee of the ChicagoBar Foundation’s Legal Aid Academy. Past activities include: chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’sDelivery of Legal Services Committee, charter member of the Illinois Pro Bono Center’s Board of Directors, Board of Directors of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and two-term ISBA Assembly member.

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