Meet Nora Mahlberg, Skadden Fellow

Posted on February 14th, 2017

HometownMadison, WInora_mahlberg

Education: BA Carleton College; JD Harvard Law School

Why she applied for a Skadden Fellowship at BPI: Most of my work prior to and during law school involved providing assistance to individual tenants and homeowners going through eviction and/or foreclosure. Over the course of my five years working on those issues, I became frustrated that I could not address the underlying causes of my clients’ recurring struggles in securing safe, permanent, and affordable housing. I wanted to create a Skadden Fellowship project that would work on a systemic solution to that problem. Adam Gross and I developed a project that would help build the capacity of the Cook County Land Bank in acquiring vacant and abandoned properties and facilitating the best outcome for those properties given community needs. Working with Adam at BPI on this project seemed like a natural fit given his involvement in the creation of the Cook County Land Bank and his work on other affordable housing policy initiatives in Chicago.

What she’s working on: I have primarily worked on police accountability. This has entailed researching and crafting recommendations for the Mayor’s Police Accountability Task Force to create an Inspector General for Public Safety position responsible for investigating and auditing the Chicago Police Department and related agencies; drafting language for the ordinance that created the position; providing legal support to community partners; and conducting research and providing recommendations for the formation of a coalition to reform the police union contracts. To a lesser extent I have also worked on affordable housing, researching and drafting state legislation to increase the capacity of the Cook County Land Bank, and working with nonprofit housing organizations in Chicago to address the misuse of online housing court records to deny tenants housing.

Next steps:  When my fellowship concludes this fall, I will begin a two-year clerkship with a federal judge.

Book on her nightstandThe Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit by Thomas Sugrue; The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson

HobbiesPlaying cello with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra, running the 606, and baking.

Fun factI’ve lived in six states since I was 18.




Recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions

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