Commitment to Service

“Civil Rights Lawyer” is Not Just a Label

Marni Willenson & Barack Obama

October 2006, Rosa's Lounge Fundraiser for the U.S. Senate Primary

Marni Willenson’s clients will say that she is “driven”–and they’re right. She believes that our courthouse doors should be open to all, regardless of station in life, and that our courts should be houses of justice and fairness for all parties. She is driven by the values of hard work, tolerance, equality, and human dignity.

As a career civil rights attorney, Ms. Willenson has asserted the rights of individuals who have suffered discrimination, wage theft, and other unfair treatment. She has represented thousands of low wage and immigrant workers cheated out of their wages. Her passionate advocacy is based on a deep respect for people from all backgrounds, and for human rights. Before law school, Ms. Willenson worked with low-income children in the South Bronx community of New York City and taught immigrant school children in the Chicago Public Schools. She lived and studied in Costa Rica and speaks Spanish fluently.

Ms. Willenson is also active in her local community. She enrolled her daughter in a Chicago public elementary school, and she is an active school parent. She has been appointed to serve on a council of community residents and parents to oversee the opening of a local charter school. She has served as a coach, a political activist, and is a strong supporter of various charities, including One Heartland, a program for children living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

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