Noonan continues her work advocating for low-income residents of Chicago.
Chloe Noonan (’16), a recent graduate with a passion for public service, is continuing her work fighting for those in need. What began as an internship during the summer following her 2L year with the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) in Chicago has blossomed into a BU Law Post-Graduate Public Service Fellowship. As the only nonprofit law firm in the Chicago area that focuses on low- and moderate-income renters in the private housing market, LCBH represents those affected by the affordable housing crisis in that region.
Working in the Medical Leadership Partnership program, Healthy Housing Chicago (HHC), Noonan makes weekly visits to the west side of Chicago to provide housing law services to low-income patients being treated at one of the two LCBH health care partners. Focusing on clients whose health has been impacted by poor living conditions, Noonan works primarily on eviction defense, foreclosure education, and improving conditions in tenants’ homes.
BU Law’s post-graduate Public Service Fellowships enable recent graduates to work at organizations providing legal services to underserved populations across the country. “The public service fellowship was a great opportunity for me to come back to LCBH and do the work that I wanted to do” she says. “It also gave me the opportunity to craft a project proposal specific to my interests and the needs of the organization.”
Noonan has focused on a legal career in public service since her time as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College. Before attending BU Law, she spent two years as a paralegal with New York Legal Assistance Group, another nonprofit firm dedicated to serving low-income individuals. “This experience further verified that going to law school and advocating for people living in poverty was what I wanted to do,” she says.
Noonan cites BU Law’s Public Interest Scholarships as a key factor for selecting BU Law. These provide three year scholarships, as well as stipends to fund summer public interest work, to a select group of students who have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing careers in public interest law. After arriving on campus, Noonan served as an article editor for the Public Interest Law Journal, and as the public service chair for the Public Interest Project, a student-run organization that promotes nonprofit, government, and pro bono work. Noonan also participated in the American Legislative Practice Clinic, externing with Massachusetts State Senator William N. Brownsberger, where she conducted legislative research addressing a wide range of criminal and civil justice issues.
“An important way BU Law’s programs helped me prepare to practice was by developing my legal research and writing skills, both of which are an important part of litigation,” she says.
As her career progresses, Noonan wants to remain focused on representing low-income individuals. “I came to law school wanting to focus on public interest and I had a lot of opportunities during school to work in different programs that approach increasing access to justice in some way,” Noonan says. “Long-term, I would like to also engage in systemic advocacy at the policy level that advances the rights of people who are living in poverty and expands resources for them.”