July 24, 2016

Board of Directors

Patrice Dziire
Patrice Dziire is a lawyer and advocate committed to transformative legal interventions. Patrice began her professional career in post-apartheid South Africa, where she contributed to a historic human rights documentation effort spearheaded by the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Patrice left South Africa armed with a vision statement that would guide her professional path over the next twenty years – Mandela’s saying: “It always seems impossible until it is done.” That path has included leadership on first-of-its kind pro bono initiatives for global law firm DLA Piper, the International Bar Association, and, most recently, the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, that have helped thousands of clients access justice – sometimes in the face of grave danger but always with hope.
Patrice currently represents individuals, families, and small businesses in a variety of practice areas. She is a New York University School of Law graduate and Dean’s Scholar.
Patrice lives in Oak Park with her two children, Chirashe and Tarisai.

Patrick Tran
Patrick Tran is an Assistant State’s Attorney since November 2010 with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Prior to his work as a Chicago prosecutor, he attended DePaul University College of Law and graduated in 2010. He also attended The Ohio State University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in Finance in 2006. He also helped coach the Little Village High School debate team from 2007 to 2010. Patrick has been serving on the CLEF Board since its inception in 2010. He

Matthew Katz
Matthew Katz is a former inner-city high school instructor turned immigration attorney. Fluent in Spanish, he taught social studies for more than seven years at the predominately Mexican-American Farragut Career Academy High School in Chicago’s Little Village community. At Farragut he founded the debate team, beating Chicago Public Schools’ flagship Whitney Young High School in one of the team’s first tournaments. He also won an Oppenheimer Foundation grant for his anti-racism project, “Race History and YOU” and a Field Museum curriculum development grant to engage hundreds of students in learning activities in the museum’s permanent exhibits. For his work as a teacher, he was recognized with Fuerza’s Educator of the Year award in 2003 and for his work as a lawyer he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by DePaul University College of Law’s Latino Law Student Association in 2008. Katz also started a law education program at Farragut while attending DePaul’s evening law program from which he graduated cum laude in 2003. He wrote and published Law School for High School Kids in 2003 and his second book, published in 2013, El Derecho del Pueblo, explains people’s basic legal rights in Spanish. Katz completed an M.B.A. degree at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2015. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Divinity degree at the University of Chicago’s renowned Divinity School and is a candidate for rabbinic ordination at Hebrew Seminary in Skokie, Illinois. Katz regularly blogs on immigration law and politics at www.katzlawchicago.com and on LinkedIn.

Graham Miller

Attorney with the firm of Borkan & Scahill in Chicago.

Cecilia Abuntis

Attorney with Illinois Attorney General