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Two from Northeast Ohio on national task force

Posted August 2, 2011
9:22 am

Washington, DC"” John G. Levi, Chairman of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Board of Directors, this week announced the membership of the Board's Pro Bono Task Force, which will help develop additional resources to assist low-income Americans facing foreclosure, domestic violence and other civil legal problems.

In a statement, Chairman Levi said:

"This is a very distinguished group, drawn from the judiciary, corporations, private practice and the legal aid community, and I greatly appreciate each member's volunteer spirit and enthusiasm for expanding pro bono work with the legal aid community.

"The Task Force's work is of critical importance. Studies have found that only a small fraction of low-income Americans receive the help of a lawyer in addressing their civil legal problems, and increasingly individuals are having to handle their legal matters on their own. Although pro bono involvement has grown at LSC programs, we must do more to help ensure access to justice and the orderly functioning of the civil justice system.

"We are indeed fortunate to have these wonderfully accomplished individuals on this task force to identify new ways to marshal pro bono resources and strengthen civil legal assistance to low-income Americans."

The co-chairs of the Task Force are:

Martha Minow, Vice Chair of the LSC Board and Dean of the Harvard Law School.

Harry J.F. Korrell III, a member of the LSC Board and a Partner in the Seattle office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

Two members of the Task Force are from Northeast Ohio:

Colleen M. Cotter, Executive Director, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

David A. Kutik, Partner, Jones Day. A Board member of the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, he has served as President of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and has chaired the Ohio State Bar Association's Pro Bono Committee Task Force.

The LSC Board approved the formation of the Pro Bono Task Force on March 31. The Task Force will "identify and recommend to the Board new and innovative ways in which to promote and enhance pro bono initiatives throughout the country, including urban areas, rural areas and areas with underserved populations," the Board's resolution said.

Established in 1974, LSC, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, receives an annual appropriation from Congress to promote equal access to justice and to provide for the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families. About 95 percent of the appropriation is distributed as grants to 136 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.

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