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In the News: Legal Aid Staff and Board Members


Posted September 5, 2019
2:47 pm


Barbara Simmons Celebrating Barbara Simmons’s 50 years of service

This year marks a major work anniversary for Barbara Simmons: 50 years! Barbara is a tireless champion for our clients. As a member of our intake group, she is often the first to speak to those in our community who are at a difficult, if not impossible, crisis point in their lives. Barbara’s calm, confident, and constantly positive demeanor is a salve to our clients and often our staff as well. We are grateful for her years with Legal Aid and for her continued service. But, most of all, we are thankful for Barbara herself.

Patrick Haggerty wins Legal Eagle award

Patrick Haggerty Honored with Legal Eagle Award

Former Legal Aid Board Member Patrick F. Haggerty is the 2019 recipient of the St. Edward High School Legal Eagles Man of the Year Award, given to a graduate who has made a significant contribution to the Cleveland legal community. Pat is Chair of Frantz Ward’s Litigation Practice Group. Pat also served as a member of the Board and Chair of the Pro Bono Committee of The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. He regularly provides pro bono representation to those unable to pay for legal services. Congratulations, Pat!

Legal Aid Will Miss You!

Marley EigerMarley Eiger (pictured left) retired in June after 41 years with Legal Aid. Marley joined Legal Aid in 1978 and has handled just about every kind of case that’s passed through our doors. She assisted thousands of clients and mentored scores ofattorneys both within and outside of Legal Aid.

Bettina KaplanBettina Kaplan (pictured right) retired in July after 32 years with Legal Aid. She’s served as Director of Finance andAdministrative Operations for 11 years. A critical leader in every major move at Legal Aid, Bettina has kept us on track with our strong financial position.

Legal Aid’s Data Leadership

David JohnsonIn June, Legal Aid’s Data & Evaluation Manager David Johnson participated in a “Computing, Data Science, and Access to Justice Workshop” sponsored by Georgetown Law and the National Science Foundation in Washington DC. This invitation-only event was attended mostly by academics. David presented on two topics: legal aid services (who receives service and how we make those decisions) and how we use data (e.g. our work on vulnerable populations and outcomes). This event is another step on Legal Aid’s journey to learn from our data about ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

Matthew Nakon, EsqLegal Aid’s 2019 Board President is Matthew Nakon, Esq., of Wickens Herzer Panza

Matt has been a tireless champion of Legal Aid for his entire career – taking pro bono cases and promoting Legal Aid in Lorain County. He joined Legal Aid’s Board of Directors in 2013 and leads as President this year. Matt serves on Wickens Herzer Panza’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, is Chairperson of the firm’s Health Care Practice Area, and is the Assistant Chairperson of the Litigation Department.

Matthew Nakon and Colleen CotterExecutive Director Colleen Cotter (left) and Matt Nakon (right) in Washington DC to update Legal Aid’s congressional delegation about Legal Aid’s great work.