Colleen M. Boraca has been named a clinical assistant professor at Northern Illinois University College of Law, where she will supervise and teach the law school's new health advocacy clinic course, beginning this semester.
The NIU College of Law Health Advocacy Clinic in Aurora will feature teams of lawyers, medical professionals and social workers trained to simultaneously address the legal, medical and social needs of the area's homeless and low-income population.
In this endeavor, NIU Law partners with both Hesed House -- a homeless shelter in Aurora that houses the clinic -- and Aunt Martha's Health and Outreach Center.
Before joining NIU Law, Boraca worked as a supervising attorney at the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago and served as an adjunct professor for Loyola University Chicago School of Law's Health Justice Project. Prior to that, she was an Assistant State's Attorney for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.
"Colleen is a passionate, tireless, and creative advocate," said NIU Law Dean Jennifer Rosato. "Through her leadership and vision, our new clinic will allow NIU Law to strengthen its commitment to the community and engagement of its students by providing much-needed legal services to those who are the most vulnerable."
The clinic will begin taking clients in late March with an initial legal team of Boraca and four law students enrolled in her clinic course.
"We have spent the last few months educating these students in the nuts and bolts of opening a clinic," said Boraca. "Now they will have the chance to help run the clinic -- interviewing and counseling clients, drafting legal documents and advocating at formal hearings, as well as in public aid offices.
"I was drawn to NIU Law because of its well-known commitment to public interest law and especially to providing valuable clinical experience for its law students," Boraca added.
"There are multiple legal skill sets that can't be fully learned in the classroom. There is no substitute for focusing your talents and skills on giving a legal voice to a client who otherwise would be voiceless."
Boraca received a J.D. with a certificate in health law, cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a H.B.A. in political science and communication studies, cum laude, from Marquette University in Milwaukee.
As the only public law school in Northern Illinois, NIU College of Law has been named a top law school nationally for diversity, value, and careers in public interest/government service.
NIU Law provides unique opportunities for its students, beginning with its highly accomplished faculty who are personally invested in the success of every student throughout their professional lives. Although many alumni serve as public interest attorneys, prosecutors, defenders, elected officials, and judges, they are equally prepared for careers as solo practitioners or lawyers in multinational firms.