Sarah Baum ('08) receives the CBF Sun-Times fellowship award from Bob and David Mann, Chair of the Sun-Times Fellowship Selection Committee.
Sarah Baum ('08) was selected as one of five attorneys to receive the 2012 Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) Sun-Times Fellowship. Each year, CBF receives about 25 applications for the fellowship, but can select only five recipients. CBF began giving the award in 2007 after receiving a $2 million cy pres award related to a class-action lawsuit involving the Chicago Sun-Times.Sarah is a staff attorney at Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF) in the Immigrants and Workers' Rights Practice Group. Because of Baum's dedication to helping people in need, she will receive $50,000 in loan repayment assistance over the next five years to help her continue this important work. Sarah brings claims in federal and state court on behalf of individuals who have been subjected to discrimination or retaliation in the workplace or whose employers have violated laws governing the workplace, such as the Wage Payment and Collection Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Particularly in this difficult economy, Sarah is providing critical services to help her clients maintain employment and obtain the vital benefits and compensation to which they are entitled.
Sarah's deep commitment to public service began as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, where she participated in public service learning trips and volunteer service. After graduating magna cum laude from college, Saarh worked for two years at Cabrini Green Legal Aid as an Amate House volunteer. Amate House is a faith-based program through which young adults live in the community and commit a year to full-time volunteer service and simple living. This experience spurred Sarah to choose a career in public interest law. In 2005, Sarah was awarded the CBF Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship.
Her commitment to public service continued in law school, where Sarah participated in several of DePaul's service immersion trips, worked in the Death Penalty Clinic, and was involved in public service groups, including the Center for Public Interest Law and LRAP Committees. It was also during law school that Sarah first began working at LAF. As an intern, she created and directed LAF's first Expungement Program. Impressively, on top of all her extracurricular activities, Sarah somehow found time to study. She graduated summa cum laude from law school and was designated Order of the Coif.
As a result of her extraordinary efforts and accomplishments advocating for low-income individuals and families, Sarah was awarded a CBF Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship in 2012, a financial award that will help meet her law school loan obligations. "I enjoy being able to help people seek justice in their individual cases. In addition, we hope to deter employers from violating the law in the future and educate them about their obligations to their employees under the law. This work has been incredibly rewarding, and this fellowship will help me to continue to do this work."
To read more about this year's CBF Sun Times Fellows click here.