Erica Spangler Raz
is a longtime CARPLS volunteer and
member, and a former CARPLS staff attorney. She currently serves as Senior Counsel and Director of Pro Bono at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.
Erica joined the CARPLS Professionals Board in 2012 after serving as a staff attorney for many years. Before joining CARPLS' staff, Erica volunteered with CARPLS and CLAIM, Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (which merged with Cabrini Green Legal Aid), including teaching women in jail self-advocacy skills and the legal system.
When asked what piqued her interest about volunteering with CARPLS specifically, Erica said, “More than twenty years ago as a college student in another city, my roommate and I experienced an illegal lockout. Our landlord turned down our heat illegally, and we ended up calling a free hotline for help whose name I don’t recall. But I remember feeling so thankful that there was a place to call. That was the kind of help my roommate and I needed, and I wanted to do that, too.”
Erica started volunteering with CARPLS as a third-year law student almost fifteen years ago, which was very unusual at the time. “I started on the eviction hotline, and it really felt full service for clients. You could advise clients about their rights, how they could represent themselves in eviction court—and when clients needed social services for new housing or one-time cash assistance for a security deposit, you provided referrals to those agencies. CARPLS already had a vast network of social service agencies, and I’m fortunate to work with many of these same nonprofits in my current position.”