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Support legal aid this #GivingTuesday

“I’m here, I didn’t forget you.”

For a domestic violence survivor Lucy Parker,* these words from her legal aid attorney brought comfort in the midst of trauma.

The mother of three young children, Lucy came to legal aid just days after she was released from the hospital. Although her husband had been abusing her for years, the most recent assault required emergency surgery to save her life. She was ready to escape her relationship and file for divorce, and her legal aid lawyer had the right tools to help.

Legal aid got her a divorce, helped her obtain full custody of her children, and secured child support. All along, her legal aid lawyer offered comfort and support, setting Lucy on the path to self-sufficiency and a new life free of fear.

This #GivingTuesday, supporters of Ohio’s legal aids can amplify donations to legal aid through The Columbus Foundation’s “Give Two on #GivingTuesday.”

Here’s how:

  • On Nov. 27, donate $20 or more to two nonprofits listed in The Columbus Foundation’s The Giving Store.
  • Select the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, The Legal Aid Society of Columbus, Southeastern Ohio Legal Services, or Advocates for Basic Legal Equality.
  • Receive a $20 Columbus Foundation Charitable Gift Card, redeemable at any of the 1,000+ organizations listed in The Giving Store.

“#GivingTuesday is a holiday tradition that really matters,” said Angie Lloyd, executive director of the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation. “By donating through The Columbus Foundation, together we can give the gift of justice for all this holiday season.”

Lawyers taking to Youngstown streets to help residents with legal problems

“We had developed a reputation as an organization that just says no to people,” Executive Director Steven McGarrity said. “Legal Aid for a long time has not been focused on going out into the community. We sort of waited in our offices for the phone to ring.”

Over the past year, attorneys with the nonprofit law firm serving the legal needs of low-income people in central and northeast Ohio have been busy getting out into the community — rather than sitting behind desks waiting for the community to come to them.

Read more in Akron Legal News.

Findlay Attorney Recognized for Outstanding Pro Bono Service

Paul Hancock, holding the award, alongside (L to R) Kathleen Trafford, Foundation board president, Angela Lloyd, Foundation executive director, and Melissa LaRocco, pro bono director at Legal Aid of Western Ohio.

Findlay resident Paul D. Hancock, an attorney retired from Marathon Petroleum Corporation who now volunteers as a pro bono attorney for Legal Aid of Western Ohio, is the recipient of the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation’s (“Foundation”) 2016 Presidential Award for Pro Bono Service. The award was presented last week during the Ohio State Bar Association’s All-Ohio Legal Forum in Cincinnati.

The Presidential Award is presented annually to individuals, law firms or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to improving access to legal representation through pro bono or volunteer service to low-income Ohioans.

After retiring from full time legal work for Marathon Petroleum, Hancock began volunteering for Legal Aid of Western Ohio and in 2015 represented 17 different low-income legal aid clients in family law cases in Hancock, Logan, Lucas and Shelby Counties. In addition to his casework, Hancock also provides brief information and advice to clients at legal aid clinics, and has agreed to volunteer at half of the Hancock County Domestic Relations Divorce Clinics scheduled for 2016.

Melissa LaRocco, Pro Bono Director for Legal Aid of Western Ohio, who nominated Hancock for the award, said in the nomination that Hancock “approaches all his cases with excitement and enthusiasm and treats clients with utmost respect.”

Kathleen M. Trafford, a partner in the Columbus office of law firm Porter Wright and president of the Foundation’s board of trustees, said Hancock is “a perfect example of the good that comes from encouraging retired attorneys to continue with pro bono work.”