EDWARDSVILLE — Ask anyone associated with Catholic Charities Legal Services (CCLS) and they’ll tell you attorney Christopher Hunter lives up to the motto lex cordis caritas, the law of the heart is love.
Hunter, of the firm, Hunter and Johnson, P.C. in Godfrey, was recognized with the inaugural Lex Cordis Caritas Award for his “service and devotion to the principles of pro bono representation of low income individuals in need of legal services.” He accepted the award from Bishop Thomas John Paprocki following the Red Mass at St. Boniface Parish in Edwardsville on Oct. 15.
“CCLS could not exist without the generosity of those ... who have volunteered to accept referrals,” said Bishop Paprocki.
The legal aid service, founded by Bishop Paprocki, has assembled a network of 70 volunteer lawyers to provide CCLS clients with free legal assistance. In Hunter’s case, CCLS said he went above and beyond what’s expected.
After accepting a referral in a family matter, Hunter spent nearly 200 hours and sometimes contentious court hearings to see his clients through in providing zealous representation to a family that could have been overwhelmed by the legal process.
The Lex Cordis Caritas Award was established to honor those in the legal profession like Hunter. Catholic Charities Executive Director Steve Roach said that Hunter is the first, but certainly not the last, to be honored for his generous donation of time and talent on behalf of CCLS.
Amy Maher of Catholic Charities Diocese of Springfield in Illinois contributed to this article.