Guardianship or Adoptions

A “guardian” is someone who is chosen or appointed to make legal decisions for someone who is not able to make those decisions on their own. Guardianship is often over a child or an individual who has become incapacitated through age or disability.

Adoption refers to the act by which an adult formally becomes the guardian of a child and incurs the rights and responsibilities of a parent. Relinquishing the rights and responsibilities of the biological parents, and granting full responsibility of the child to the new caregiver.

JEP lawyers working on Guardianship or Adoptions provide services that may include:

  • Adult Guardianship
  • Planned Guardianship
  • Contested Guardianship
  • Inheritance received by a minor
  • Guardianship due to lack of mental capacity
  • Adoption
  • Phillip M. Rutherford

    Rutherford Law P.C.

    www.rutherfordlawpc.com

    Phillip M. Rutherford is a passionate youth and family advocate. Before becoming an attorney, Phillip helped students and families plan for all forms of education beyond high school. In law school, Phillip focused on the intricacies of family law including special topics in children and the law, domestic and intimate partner violence, the legal needs of LGBTQ+, and alternative legal practices such as mediation and restorative justice. Phillip founded Rutherford Law P.C. to provide Chicagoland families access to affordable legal services that are responsive to their needs and sensitive to their budgets. His practice includes all areas of family law, adoption, DCFS, and school discipline matters. Phillip earned his Bachelors of Arts from the University of Michigan and his Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Illinois and is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago. Phillip can be reached at (312) 878-7867 or phillip@rutherfordlawpc.com.


  • Sonny Thatch

    Thatch Law Group

    www.thatchlawgroup.com

    Sonny R. Thatch, II is a native of Cook County, Illinois.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from DePaul University’s Honors Program and received his Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.  While in law school, Attorney Thatch earned a temporary license from the Ohio Supreme Court and clerked with the Columbus, Ohio City Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted Domestic Violence, Traffic, Assault cases.  After returning to Chicago in 2013 and passing the Illinois Bar Exam, Attorney Thatch worked for the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County in the Criminal, Domestic Relations, and Domestic Violence divisions. Sonny can be reached at (312) 487-1171 or sonny@thatch-law.com.


  • Chlece Neal

    Chicago Advocate Legal, LLC

    www.chicagoadvocatelegal.com

    Chlece Neal’s passion for law is inspired by a desire to see social justice for everyone. She sees the legal system as an instrument for social change and wants to use the legal system to empower, inspire and help people see positive change in their lives, their families and their communities. Chlece graduated from Loyola University School of Law and the Graduate School of Social Work where she focused on child and family law and mental health issues as well as the criminal justice system. Chlece practices in the area of family law, child law, criminal law and nonprofit organization. With flexible office hours, including weekends, and affordable pricing options, there is no reason to go at it alone. Chlece Neal can be reached at (312) 646-5315 or at cal@chicagoadvocatelegal.com.


  • Lisa Glenn

    Law Office of Lisa L. Glenn, LLC

    www.lglennlaw.com

    Lisa is a family focused attorney dedicated to planning for the future. Lisa has been a practicing attorney in the state of Illinois for almost a decade and is most proud of her ability to connect with clients on a personal level. Lisa focuses on the areas of estate planning, real estate closings, probate, and adult guardianship. She received her Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School where she was a Secretary and founding member of the Disaster Relief Legal Association, a group focused on post-Katrina New Orleans and access to justice for those living below the poverty level. Lisa is licensed to practice in the State of Illinois and the Federal Northern District of Illinois. Lisa can be reached at (708) 627-1890 or lisaglenn@lglennlaw.com.


  • Mariusz Zatorski

    Zatorski Law LLC

    www.zatorskilaw.com

    Mariusz K. Zatorski (”MKZ”) focuses his practice on the areas of family, real estate and bankruptcy law.  He has been practicing law since 2011 and helps clients with complex legal challenges, but also offers limited scope representation, if it is in the client’s best interest.  Mariusz (MA-ryoos) joined the Justice Entrepreneurs Project and founded Zatorski Law LLC with the goal of providing access to justice for those who might not otherwise afford it.  This is why his law firm is committed to FIXED FEES, PREDICTABLE PRICING, AFFORDABLE and TRANSPARENT representation.  Mariusz does not believe in billable hours or cookie-cutter solutions to people’s legal problems.  He tailors his approach to clients’ particular situation and pursues their goals with creativity and determination.  Mariusz was born in Poland and speaks Polish fluently, but spent most of his life in Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area.  Mariusz earned his B.A. from Indiana University, M.A. from the University of Chicago, and J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law.  In his spare time, Mariusz likes to read, travel and play with his Basset Hound Etta.  Mariusz can be reached at 312-858-5005 or mkz@zatorskilaw.com.


  • Michael Oquendo

    The Law Office of Michael R. Oquendo

    www.oquendolaw.com

    Michael is a Chicago attorney and certified mediator with a diverse legal practice. Michael began with a focus on Guardianships, Probate Matters, Elder Law issues, and Estate Planning. Due to the needs of his clients, Michael’s practice has grown to include Education Law to ensure vulnerable populations of students receive the support and accommodations they need to succeed, and residential real estate closings, done on time and efficiently. Mediation is also taking a larger role in his practice as it is a reasonable alternative to litigation. Michael’s focus is on the client and their needs. Michael strives to offer professional, client-based service at a reasonable cost. Michael understands how valuable your time is and strives to be flexible with office hours, appointment times and out of office meetings. Unbundled and limited scope services are also available. We look forward to helping you make some of life’s most difficult decisions manageable. You can reach Michael by phone:773-453-5293 or Email: oquendo.law@gmail.com You’ve got a guy in the legal business!


  • Anthony M. Abou Ezzi

    Ezzi Law

    ezzilaw.com

    Anthony (“Tony”) M. Abou Ezzi provides services to his clients in the area of Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Special Needs Trusts), Probate, Adult Guardianship, Small-Business and Corporate Formation, and Disability Law. Tony founded Ezzi Law with the purpose of providing his clients with personalized and exceptional legal services. He assists clients with end-of-life planning and circumstances, and prides himself in treating each of his clients as he would a member of his family. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from North Central College and receiving his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School, Tony never lost sight of his passion for helping those in need. As an intern for Equip for Equality, a recipient of the AT&T Excellence in Pro Bono Legal Services Award through the Center for Disability and Elder Law, and as a volunteer for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Tony has dedicated himself to providing legal assistance to individuals with a disability and the elderly. Tony can be reached at (929)-322-3994 or Tony@EzziLaw.com.


  • Alejandra Vilchis

    Alejandra I. Vilchis, Attorney at Law

    www.vilchislaw.com

    Alejandra attended The John Marshall Law School and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her practice focuses on the area of family law. This includes premarital agreements, divorce, child support matters, establishing parental rights, parental decision-making (custody), parenting time (visitation) as well as adoptions and guardianship of minors. Alejandra currently volunteers her time at Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and serves on the IL DCFS Statewide Adoption Attorney Panel. Alejandra can be reached at (872) 529-1011 or aiv@vilchislaw.com.  She is fluent in English and Spanish.


  • Christina Martell

    The Law Office of Christina Martell

    www.lawofficemartell.com

    Attorney Christina (“Chrissie”) Martell represents clients in adoption, minor guardian, parentage, and divorce matters in Kane County, DuPage County, and Cook County. She believes that empathy and trustworthiness are essential to client representation through monthly pricing approximations. When working with her clients, Chrissie listens carefully to the facts of the matter, identifies the relevant legal issues, and then explains her analysis of the case by illuminating how the relevant rule of law should be applied. She seeks to provide clarity to her clients’ difficult questions. She advises her clients of the possible outcomes, good or bad, and then zealously pursues the best possible outcome. Chrissie follows the example of the patron saint of attorneys, Sir Thomas Moore, by striving to be “able in argument, accurate in analysis, strict in study, candid with clients, and honest with adversaries.” Chrissie stays abreast of the changes in the law that affect her clients, and she utilizes legal technology to maximize her efficiency in managing her client’s cases. Chrissie attended law school at DePaul University College of Law.  She is licensed to practice in the State of Illinois, and she is a member of the Kane County Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association.  Chrissie can be reached by phone at (630) 423-6377 or email at chrissie@lawofficemartell.com.


  • Roya Samarghandi

    Carmel Law, LLC

    www.carmellawchicago.com

    Roya H. Samarghandi seeks to recalibrate the balance of justice for her clients, regardless of means or circumstance. She has committed her career to reducing the justice gap for low and moderate income clients in their criminal and  and family law matters. She addresses her client’s needs through honest representation, committed advocacy and the option for alternative fee arrangements. Roya is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, graduating cum laude. She also holds a Masters of Law Degree in International Human Rights from University of Nottingham School of Law (U.K.), receiving merit honors. She enjoys volunteering with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, the Family Defense Center and First Defense Legal Aid.  Roya can be reached at (312) 945-6250 or at RHS@CarmelLawChicago.com.


  • Eleanor Endzel

    Endzel Law LLC

    www.endzellawllc.com

    Eleanor Endzel is an alumni member of the JEP. Eleanor received her B.S. from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in 2006 and her J.D. from the DePaul University College of Law in 2012. During law school Eleanor clerked in the Cook County Circuit Court’s Domestic Relations Division, where she saw time and again how people without attorneys stumbled through the trial process. Dedicated to serving people who lack access to affordable legal services, Eleanor formed Endzel Law, LLC in 2013 and focuses on family law with an emphasis on cooperative divorce. She also volunteers her time as a pro bono attorney at Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and CARPLS. Eleanor can be reached at (312) 450-5260 or eleanor@endzellawllc.com.


  • Alyease Jones

    The Law Office of Alyease Jones

    www.alyeaselaw.com

    Alyease Jones was raised to understand the importance of community involvement and education. She received her law degree Cum Laude from Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School.  Alyease D. Jones is the attorney and founder of The Law Office of Alyease Jones.  Attorney Jones has serviced her community through her legal expertise. She is an experienced professional who enjoys providing her clients with quality legal assistance.The firm’s mission is to provide affordable legal services to those in need of counsel related to domestic relationships, including family law, DCFS defense, guardianship, and orders of protection. Our quest is to promote justice and guarantee equality to all clients while maintaining a high degree of integrity and working zealously to protect our client’s legal and constitutional rights.  The firm’s goal is to bridge the gap between the law and the community. Alyease can be reached at alyeasejonesesq@gmail.com or by phone at (630) 480-6580.


  • Tiffany A. Horstein

    Family Forward Law, LLC

    www.familyforwardlaw.com

    Tiffany A. Horstein is a compassionate family advocate, dedicating her practice to helping families through adoptions, minor guardianship, assisted reproductive technology, DCFS, and Juvenile court matters. After spending the first 6.5 years of her career litigating personal injury cases, Tiffany put her litigation skills to use as an attorney with DCFS. While there, she handled nearly 400 child abuse and neglect administrative appeals and learned the inner-workings of the agency. Diagnosed with Lymphoma and undergoing chemotherapy at the age of 31 gave Tiffany a new understanding of the struggles families can face as they attempt to grow. Her legal and personal experience led Tiffany to create Family Forward Law, LLC.  Recognizing the importance and urgency of these difficult familial situations, Family Forward Law, LLC offers predictable pricing and flexible payment plans. Let us know how we can help you move your family forward! Contact Tiffany at 312.529.8535 or Tiffany@FamilyForwardLaw.com.


  • Jessica J. Bell

    Bell Advocate LLC

    www.belladvocate.com

    Tired of watching the people in her community lose rights, property, and access to loved ones just because they didn’t know the law or know a lawyer they could afford and trust, Jessica Bell left her career in legal ethics and founded Bell Advocate LLC. A life long Southsider, Jessica appears in Markham and at the Daley Center for clients pursuing or defending actions concerning divorce, child support, custody, adult and minor guardianship, wills, trusts, and other assets in the areas of: Domestic Relations/Family Law, Probate, Guardianship, and Estate Planning. Bell Advocate endeavors to offer affordable legal services to those whose income is too high to qualify for free legal services, but also cannot afford traditionally priced private attorneys. Contact Jessica now at (773) 234-2052 or jessicabell@belladvocate.com to learn more about how Bell Advocate LLC can assist you with your legal matter.


  • Shunte Goss

    Law Offices of Shunte S. Goss

    www.shuntegossesq.com

    Shunte‘ S. Goss is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and an alumnus of the JEP. Shunte’ attended and received her undergraduate degree from Illinois State University. She graduated with a Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and went directly to work in private practice. Prior to law school, Shunte‘ worked with individuals in many different areas. She gained experience in problem solving as well as working through confrontational issues with individuals of all walks of life. Shunte‘ brings this experience to her private practice with focuses in Estate Planning and Family Law. Shunte’ will take the time to understand each client’s unique situation and specific needs. She will research the facts as well as the law, and advise clients on all of their options. Shunte‘ genuinely cares about her clients. She is committed to providing the highest quality of legal advice and support during what is often an emotionally-charged time in clients’ lives. Shunte’ is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. She can be reached at (708) 794-8559 or lawhelp@shuntegossesq.com.