November 6, 2014
Chief Judge David Hylla presented the 2014 Pro Bono Service Award to Tanja Cook, an attorney with Lueders, Robertson & Konzen, at the Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Recognition Luncheon held October 21, 2014. The luncheon was held at the LeClaire room in Edwardsville. Over 100 lawyers and judges attended the luncheon to highlight pro bono week and local efforts to assist low income individuals in the court system.
Tanja Cook serves on the Third Circuit Pro Bono Committee and is active in many of its programs. She provides assistance to the Veterans Assistance Commission in its burial plot donation project. She regularly accepts cases from Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation and also volunteers with Catholic Charities Legal Services. Cook has been a speaker to train Land of Lincoln attorneys and to train the volunteer attorneys who provide legal advice in the Madison County Law Library. Tanja Cook has served on the Phoenix Crisis Center Board of Directors, the Gateway Baptist Association Housing Board, and is a Past President of the Granite City Rotary. Cook was awarded the plaque by Chief Judge Hylla and Land of Lincoln Managing Attorney Clarissa Gaff in honor of her service to the community.
“Tanja Cook is deserving of this award because of her commitment to providing low income individuals with legal information and assistance,” noted Judge Hylla. Prior winners of the Madison County Pro Bono Service Award were in attendance at the luncheon. They are: 2008-Erin Reilly, 2009-Gail Donnelly Bader, 2010-Michael Meehan and Deborah Crouse Cobb, 2011- Judge Lola Maddox (retired), 2012- Elizabeth Carrion and the Simmons Law Firm, and 2013- Judge Ralph Mendelsohn (retired).
In addition to recognizing Tanja Cook, the luncheon recognized 96 attorneys who have provided pro bono service in Madison County since the annual luncheon in October 2013. The members of the Third Circuit Pro Bono Committee were also thanked for their service in creating and staffing programs. Those members are: Betsy Mahoney, Pro Bono Coordinator; Judge Barb Crowder, Chair; Chris Threlkeld, Madison County Bar Association President; Judge Janet Heflin; Judge John Knight; Bradley Lavite and Nicolette Watson, Madison County Veterans’ Assistance Commission; Amy Maher, Catholic Charities Legal Services; Sarah Smith, State’s Attorney’s Office; Clarissa Gaff and Amy Morgan, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation; Gail Donnelly Bader, Bader Law Office; Tanja Cook, Lueders, Robertson and Konzen; Amy Garrett and Jo Anna Pollock, Simmons Hanly Conroy; David Weder, Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, P.C.; Maureen Schuette, Schuette Law Office; Angela Donohoo, Levo-Donohoo Attorneys; Jaime Stipcak, Madison County Self-Help Center; and Michael Bergmann, Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). For more information about the Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, go to www.pili.org/3rdcircuit.