Danielle Parisi Ruffatto became an attorney with the goal of using the law to serve those who otherwise would be unrepresented. Since beginning her law career, she has done just that. She has passionately represented low-income clients and advocated tirelessly for them in the legal system.
In her current position as DVLC’s Director of Pro Bono and Training, Danielle manages the Pro Bono Project. Danielle also hires, trains, and supervises DVLC’s interns and volunteers and oversees staff training.
Previously Danielle served for more than three years as a DVLC staff attorney representing clients in Order of Protection, Divorce, and Family Law cases.
Prior to her work with DVLC, Danielle served initially as a Staff Attorney and then Executive Director of First Defense Legal Aid. In those roles, she represented low income clients who were arrested or detained; trained and supervised volunteer attorneys; wrote grants and managed a variety of executive projects.
As evidence of her passion and commitment, Danielle has received these prestigious awards.
- In December 2013, Danielle received the Kathryn Smith Matkov Award from the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. This award is bestowed annually on an attorney or judge whose lifetime commitment to excellence and accuracy in defining, illuminating and informing the public on critical issues to American society, particularly in the areas of children, the aged and minorities.
- In January 2012, Illinois Legal Advocate named Danielle its Advocate of the Month.
Danielle received a BA, with honors, from DePaul University in 2001 and a JD from the University of Illinois in 2004.