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2021 Volunteer Awards

Posted December 3, 2021
4:52 pm

Congratulations to Legal Aid's 2021 Volunteer Award Winners!

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland will recognize the following volunteer award recipients at the 2021 Annual Meeting, to be held online Thursday, December 9. The event features keynote speaker U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Learn more and register to watch:

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland relies on the dedication and expertise of volunteers to assist its many clients. Each year, approximately 20% of the people helped by Legal Aid are assisted by a pro bono attorney.

Legal Aid's Volunteer Lawyers Program is proud to announce its 2021 volunteer award winners. These individuals performed exceptional service during the past year for Legal Aid's clients - and for that they deserve recognition.

Legacy of Justice Award
In recognition of individual(s) whose participation in pro bono or other volunteer efforts has been significant in terms of length and/or impact.

  • Julie Rabin, Esq., in recognition of her assistance with more than 70 pro bono cases since 2000, her efforts have helped hundreds of people and families escape from debt and get back on their feet. In addition to taking cases, Julie also frequently mentors and supports other attorneys as they help clients.

Access to Justice Award Winners
In recognition of significant contribution to advancing the mission of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland through pro bono commitment.

  • Ashley Bailes, Esq., – Ashley is an associate at Taft/ and a relative newcomer to volunteering with Legal Aid. Ashley felt compelled to volunteer during the pandemic when she recognized that people with low incomes were losing their homes and struggling during the public health crisis. Ashley has already logged over 100 volunteer hours in 2021 and made an enormous impact for her client.
  • James King, Esq., – Upon his retirement in 2019, James re-directed his knowledge, work ethic, and professionalism to assist Legal Aid and our clients. James has worked on over 35 cases since he began volunteering, and has proven to be a relentless advocate for people whose economic stability is at risk.
  • Arthur Smialek, Esq., – Art began volunteering with Legal Aid to work on estate planning matters back in 2012. When he retired in 2017, he kicked his pro bono commitment into high gear. He has assisted with over 70 cases to date, and has exhibited empathy and understanding in all his interactions with clients.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities for attorneys, please visit our website:

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