Victoria Hewelt Cazel graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1974 with a degree in German. Following two years working in the "real world", she went back to school at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
While in law school, Victoria became a legal intern in the Legal Service at the law school where she practiced, under supervision, for her last two years of law school. Victoria graduated from law school in 1979 and received the Bar and Gavel Award for service to the law school community. During her last two years in school and for five years after graduation, she taught at and later, headed up the Pro Se Legal Project which taught lay people to do their own, simple divorces.
Later, she and her law partner, Michael Benedetto, started the Self-Help Legal Services of Oak Park and spent two years teaching people to do their own wills, simple divorces and Chapter 7 bankruptcies. Victoria was the Students' Attorney at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Legal Services Center where she had a client load in excess of 22,000. When she came to the Legal Services Center, there was only one attorney (Victoria), one paralegal and one secretary. During the four years that she served in the position, she expanded the service to three attorneys, two secretaries and several paralegals who provided not only legal advice but also in-court representation.
For most of the more than 26 years she has practiced law, she has been in private practice which has emphasized the areas of family law, wills, real estate closings and both Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies. For the last fourteen years, the majority of her practice has been in the area of bankruptcy and divorce.
Victoria was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1985 and is also licensed in Illinois, Minnesota and Montana.
Tracy Coyle has spent the last ten years helping businesses start new divisions and departments. Experienced in administrative and operational implementations, she serves as Victoria's right hand. Her experience with computers and software allows Victoria to concentrate on the clients rather than administrative tasks.
CJ supports Victoria's commitment to family services. As a 10 year old, she spends most of her time at school. But when she is in the office, she welcomes clients and visitors and helps the children of clients (while Mom helps their parents) with computer learning programs, kid videos, reading and art work. Additionally, CJ helps the law office be a less stressful place by bringing a sense of perspective to everyone in the office. If you ask nice, she might be willing to give you a karate demonstration (she earned her first degree black belt in November 2004).