Margaret Benson

Executive Director
Western Michigan University, Honors College (B.S., History, 1976)
Loyola University College of Law (J.D., 1979)

Meg joined CVLS in 1982 to set up the Panel Referral Program, became Deputy Director in 1983 and was elevated to Executive Director in 2003 when her predecessor retired. Responsible for program management, and the coordination of bench, bar and law firm relations, Meg also writes extensively, including CVLS training materials and a bi-monthly column on pro bono for the Chicago Lawyer.While handling a caseload of contested or difficult family and guardian ad litem cases, she trains and supervises GAL volunteers. Meg is a program designer and speaker at ABA/NLADA Equal Justice and Illinois Legal Advocates Conferences. She also regularly speaks on child custody, client and pro bono issues for the ISBA, CBA and IICLE. Meg was honored with the 2007 Illinois State Bar Association’s Board of Governors Award. In 2001 she received the notable Chicago Bar Foundation’s Thomas H. Morsch Public Service Award.  Prior honors include the “Esther Rothstein Award” by the Lawyer’s Trust Fund of Illinois in 1999 and Loyola University School of Law's Public Service Award in 1994. Meg is an active member of ISBA's Legislation Committee, where she has helped to draft and lobby for guardianship and family law legislation. She chairs the ISBA’s LawPac Board. Former chair, she continues to serve on the CBA’s Pro Bono Week Committee. Past activities include: chair of the Illinois State Bar Association's Delivery of Legal Services Committee, charter member of the Illinois Pro Bono Center's Board of Directors, speaker at the Midwest Region SPAN Conference on the Future of Legal Services, Board of Directors of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois, two-term ISBA Assembly member, speaker for the American Institute for Prepaid Legal Services. Meg's husband, Art Simon, is an active CVLS volunteer.