FLAP Staff, Consultants & Volunteers
Alexandra Sossa, Executive Director
Alexandra first came to FLAP in summer, 2001. She has played an instrumental role in the success of FLAP. Through this project, she has educated low income clients of their rights, developed working relationships with various organizations in the northern and western counties of Illinois, and has supported employment attorneys providing legal assistance to a countless number of migrant and seasonal workers in the area. She has also written for several newspapers in Illinois about issues that affect immigrants in the United States.
Alexandra graduated from the University of Medellin School of Law, Colombia and is certificated as a bilingual Mediator at the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago, Illinois. She is alumni of the Center for Leadership Innovation and also holds a Non Profit Management certification from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in English.
Alexandra has more than 25 years of experience performing community education and outreach for migrant and seasonal workers in the agricultural and landscaping industries. She has a long history of public service dating back to her work with coffee plantation workers in Colombia, where she also worked for nearly a decade with the Attorney General’s Office. She has helped clients with their legal needs in the United States, Spain and Colombia. While in Spain, Alexandra helped citizens of Mexico navigate through the Spanish legal system via the Mexican Embassy.
She can be reached at:
33 N. LaSalle # 900
Chicago, IL 60602
Neil Kelley, Managing Attorney
Neil Kelley is the Managing Attorney at FLAP, where he oversees the organization’s litigation efforts. Prior to joining FLAP, Neil litigated wage theft and employment discrimination cases. Neil has dedicated his legal career to creating legal access for low income people in a variety of areas, from consumer debt defense to criminal law and contract disputes. He earned his B.A. from Loyola University Chicago and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law where he graduated with a certificate in Public Interest Law. He is licensed in state and federal court in Illinois and is an active member of the National Lawyers Guild and the Chicago Community Bond Fund.
He can be reached at:
33 N. LaSalle # 900
Chicago, IL 60602
Pro-bono Attorneys, Law Clerks, & Volunteers
Every year between 20 to 30 Pro-Bono Attorneys, Interns, Externs and volunteers support community education, outreach and litigation. They conduct legal research and compose memoranda, draft complaints, pleadings, discovery, and settlement agreements; investigate claims; gather facts from clients; answer clients’ substantive and procedural questions; compile databases; maintain client files; analyze legal claims and calculate damages. They work remotely and/or are based in FLAP Chicago and/or suburbs offices at their choice.
Vincent Beckman, Honorary Board of Directors Member
Vince Beckman co-founded FLAP in 1999 and was its Executive Director until December 2011. Presently Vince is Honorary FLAP Board of Directors member actively supporting the organization fundraiser efforts.
Vince helped organize community development projects as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru (1966-68); worked with the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) in Puerto Rico from 1969-70 as a VISTA Volunteer; did earthquake relief in Peru with the Peace Corps (1970); taught ESL classes at Chicago City Colleges (1971); and taught sociology at YMCA Community College (1971-73). While in law school he worked at the Northwestern Legal Clinic (1971-74). He joined the firm of Zeitlin & Schwab (1974-75), and then worked with LAF as a staff attorney in the Migrant Project (1975-77). In 1977 Vince accepted a position as Executive Director of Michigan Migrant Legal Assistance Project, where he remained for seven years. He returned to LAF in 1984 as a staff attorney at the 18th Street Office and then the Migrant Project before being selected as Supervisory Attorney of the Migrant Project (1985 to 2009).
Vince has very substantial experience in the area of federal litigation and is fluent in Spanish and English.
Ofelia Amante, Paralegal
Ofelia Amante was born in Jalisco, Mexico. Her family migrated to the United States when she was a toddler. She has lived in the United States for over 30 years. Ofelia has customer service experience while working in various debt collection agencies, several non-profit organizations and has volunteered time at Mujeres Latinas en Accion. Her passion to help those in need has always been what brings out the best in her and in those that need to get have their voice heard.
She obtained her Associates Degree from Northwestern College. She reads, writes, and is fluent in both English and Spanish.
As a Paralegal Ofelia supports FLAP’s Litigation, Outreach and Community Education lending important information to those that do not know their rights at work.
David Arfa, Fundraising Letter Writer and Cartographer
David Arfa has a BA in Geography and a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington. He lives in Chicago and works as a cartographer and Geographic Information System analyst. He has been volunteering for FLAP since Spring of 2011.
Memo Ramirez, Website Developer
Memo Ramirez is a software engineer with over 10 years of experience in data engineering and in building data-driven applications. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and has been volunteering for FLAP since the Summer of 2012.