Posted April 19, 20239:00 am
When Alexander Szaruga graduated from The Ohio State University with a music education degree, he immediately began work as an Ohio public school teacher. He helped students to foster new skills and to pursue their music passion, but Alex also developed a deep appreciation for the impact timely support can have on people’s lives. After three years, he returned to Ohio State to pursue a law degree.
After graduating, Alex began his legal career at KeyBank, where colleagues invited him to attend one of Legal Aid’s Brief Advice Clinics in the fall of 2019. Since then, he has attended numerous other clinics, helped people seal records through expungement clinics, and found pro bono case opportunities from Legal Aid’s Take a Case page. This work is linked not only to Alex’s person passion for pro bono, but KeyBank’s commitment to reinvesting in its community: Alex gets support from KeyBank for his pro bono service.
Alex’s time with the Volunteer Lawyer Program has shown him that any attorney—whether transactional or litigator; whether they have worked in other fields or not—can make a difference in people’s lives by volunteering.
As an educator, Alex had worked with students to implement IEPs; as a volunteer attorney, Alex employed that knowledge while representing families of students in need of IEPs. Volunteers’ varied experiences are incredibly valuable to Legal Aid’s clients.
Legal Aid supports volunteer attorneys every step of the way, irrespective of their previous experience. Alex appreciates the support he gets from Legal Aid staff, “When I first started volunteering, I was nervous that, as a primarily transactional attorney, I would not have the experience necessary to assist clients. To the contrary, Legal Aid’s staff attorneys were wonderfully supportive, and the educational component preceding events such as Expungement Clinics gave me confidence in my ability to provide sound advice to clients.”
In other words: we are in this together. By volunteering, you join a community of attorneys like Alex, alongside Legal Aid staff and lawyers committed to helping you succeed in our shared mission to serve those in need.