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from Cleveland Jewish News: Silver Linings – Lenore Kleinman

Posted August 24, 2023
1:15 pm


Lenore Kleinman spends her retirement lending her expertise in bankruptcy law to members of the Northeast Ohio community who cannot afford traditional legal advice services. Through the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, she has helped those in need by going over their cases, evaluating their documents and counseling them on whatever they may need as they prepare to file for bankruptcy.

Kleinman became involved with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland six years ago, when a colleague approached her and asked her to join the society’s ACT 2 program. The program is for retired attorneys who are looking for something to do with their time.

“I’m involved in what’s called the volunteer lawyers program, and there are different options of things that you can do,” Kleinman explained. “One of the things that I do is brief advice clinics.”

These clinics take place a few times each month and are open to the community, she said. People in need of legal help can go and meet with attorneys from different areas of expertise.

In addition to these clinics, Kleinman spends each Wednesday working at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland’s office.

“I take the Rapid downtown to Legal Aid, to their offices, and I work the entire day on Wednesdays, and I provide assistance in whatever way they need, bankruptcy-related,” she said. “I sometimes will talk to clients, I will review their bankruptcy petitions, worksheets. I will look at what documentation they may need to assist them in preparing for filing bankruptcy.”

Kleinman also spends time volunteering for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. She serves on the Grievance Committee, which investigates complaints against attorneys for unethical conduct, and on the Bar Admissions Committee, which works with law students preparing for the bar exam.

“The Supreme Court requires that, prior to sitting for the bar exam, law students must be interviewed by other attorneys to see whether they have the character and fitness to become an attorney in the state of Ohio,” Kleinman explained. “We also interview attorneys from other states that are coming into Ohio under reciprocity.”

Kleinman said her parents instilled in her values of giving back to the community.

“My parents were Holocaust survivors, they didn’t come to the United States until 1949, and they strongly believed in charity and tzedakah, and they had us volunteering when we were younger,” she said. “I volunteered at the old Menorah Park and the VA hospital when I was in junior high and high school. My parents would open their door to host people for holidays and for the Sabbath if they didn’t have anywhere to go.”

She recalled growing up with people who were known by her parents, but unfamiliar to her and her sisters, who were frequently in her home and celebrated with her family.

“That was important,” Kleinman said. “It was always that you had to give back. I look at it that I was lucky to have a good life, I was successful, and it’s important to give back to people that can’t afford and be as lucky as I was.”

Source: Cleveland Jewish News - Silver Linings: Lenore Kleinman 


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