The attorneys of Dolan Law P.C. have launched a new subsidiary firm dedicated to providing legal services for the Hispanic community in the Chicago area.
La Justicia is targeted to serve the legal needs of Chicago area’s Hispanic community, especially Spanish speakers. Dolan partners Martin Dolan and Karen Munoz are spearheading the effort along with Luis C. Martinez.
Martinez has spent years as a sole practitioner working with the local Hispanic community and has been named a partner at La Justicia. Both Martinez and Munoz are fluent in Spanish, a fact they hope will help foster trust and comfort with their clients.
“We noticed there was a void in access to representation within the Hispanic community and we wanted to offer that community the same sort of quality services we provide for our clients at Dolan,” said Munoz.
According to Munoz, the subsidiary firm will offer services in many of the same practice areas as Dolan Law, including workplace injuries, medical malpractice, wrongful deaths, product liability, negligence and suits for victims of crimes including sexual assault.
La Justicia officially opened in January and has office space in Chicago, Aurora and Joliet as well as a full Spanish-language website. While the attorneys are not on premises regularly, Munoz said they will meet with clients wherever is most convenient for them.
“We know a lot of people don’t like coming all the way to Chicago if they’re out in the suburbs so, we do everything we can to accommodate their needs,” she said. “It’s definitely a balance between our work here and at Dolan. Lots of people need help.”
Although the firm has only been operating for a month, Munoz said she has already received positive feedback.
“I don’t even know how many conversations I’ve had in Spanish in the last 30 days,” she said. “Probably more than I’d had all of last year. We’ve had a really great response from people in the community and I’m grateful to be able to do this job for the people who need it.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics sustain the second most fatal workplace injuries of any ethnic group in the U.S. and there were nearly 6,000 nonfatal workplace injuries experienced by Hispanic workers in Illinois alone in 2018.
Despite these statistics, many families do not pursue legal action and those that do often have to rely on an interpreter.
“Given the current political climate, people are afraid to come forward with legitimate rights violations,” said Munoz. “People don’t want to lose their right to work here or to raise their families here, and that’s a legitimate fear, but no one deserves to be unrepresented or to work in an unsafe environment. We wanted to establish a safe space to advocate for their rights and seek justice for people who have been the victims of unthinkable injuries and incidents and who want to move forward with their cases.”
As the daughter of two immigrants, Munoz said she is “excited” to launch this new office for a “community that has traditionally been ignored.”
“I want to provide them with the representation that I would provide my own parents,” she said.