Legal Aid Board Member Honored for Pro Bono Service
The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service recently honored Jones Day attorney and Legal Aid’s current Board Vice President David Kutik with its Pro Bono Publico Award. Mr. Kutik received the award, which recognizes outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged, at the August ABA Annual Meeting in New York City. Mr. Kutik’s initiative Our Commitment to Our Community was created during his 2004-2005 term as Cleveland Bar Association President and encouraged 2,000 bar members to log 70,000 hours of pro bono service.
Mr. Kutik continues to advocate for a culture of service across Cleveland’s legal community; he chairs the Legal Aid Board’s Pro Bono Committee and volunteers for Legal Aid’s Brief Advice Clinics. In addition to the ABA honor, Mr. Kutik was selected as the first recipient of the John and Ginny Elam Pro Bono Award, which was presented at the 2008 Ohio State Bar Association Convention. The Elam Award included a $5,000 gift which Mr. Kutik could designate for a non-profit of his choosing. With the gift, Mr. Kutik established the Sgt. Harry Fund at Legal Aid, in memory of his father Harry Kutik, to benefit Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyers Program.
“David exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism in the legal community,” says Ann McGowan Porath, managing attorney of the Volunteer Lawyers Program. “He understands that pro bono efforts are of critical importance to the increasing number of people in our community who are in need of legal representation to improve their lives. He tirelessly challenges and encourages others to see the value for the wider community.”
To learn more about the Sgt. Harry Fund, which benefits the Volunteer Lawyers Program at Legal Aid, call 216-861-5217 or watch for details in Legal Aid’s Winter 2009 issue of Poetic Justice.