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2022 Volunteer Awards

Posted October 12, 2022
9:00 am

Congratulations to Legal Aid's 2022 Volunteer Award Winners!

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland will recognize the following volunteer award recipients at the 2022 Annual Meeting. Details about the event will be released soon!

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 2022 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.

  • The Honorable Mary Jane Trapp, in recognition of four decades of involvement with Legal Aid. A past member of Legal Aid’s Board of Directors, she has both participated in pro bono and recruited others to participate. Now as a member of the Ohio appellate bench, she focuses her role on ensuring access to justice and educating members of the bar on their professional responsibility to support civil justice.

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

  • Mark Dobbins, Esq. in recognition of his volunteer work with Legal Aid's Low-Income Payer Tax Clinic, and the hundreds of hours he has invested in tax clinic cases to obtain the best possible result for each of the clients.
  • Michael Durnwald, Esq. in recognition of his volunteer work supporting Legal Aid's Lorain office, and his dedication to assisting clients in the resolution of family and consumer law issues.
  • Allison Kreiner, MD – in recognition of her volunteer work with Legal Aid’s Health and Opportunity group, supporting both the medical-legal partnership (MLP) and immigration teams, her research assistance, and regular attendance at Brief Advice Clinics.
  • Irene Meyerhoefer in recognition of her volunteer work with Legal Aid’s Development and Communications team, amplifying our mission by creating social media content and writing client success stories.

Community Impact Award
In recognition of individual(s) or group(s) who have made a mark for outstanding participation or critical involvement that ensured success for a client, client community, or project.

  • Family Law Clinic Volunteers
    Family law volunteers have long been integral in helping secure closure, safety, and financial security through our pro bono divorce clinics, providing information and advice about navigating the domestic relations court landscape. During the pandemic, family law volunteers worked closely with Legal Aid to identify the best way to serve clients in the new virtual world. Their work helped ensure that clients received assistance despite not being able to meet in person. In particular, the contributions of the following individuals have made a meaningful impact on Legal Aid’s service to those in need of family law help:
    • Leslie Gentile, Esq. – in recognition of her help developing our pro se divorce project in Lorain County. Leslie has presented at clinics in Lorain County for many years and continues to serve clients that need help with divorce in Lorain County.
    • Lydia Gross, Esq.  in recognition of her strong and constant support of our pro se divorce work in our Eastern counties. Lydia is always willing to assist our clients, helping with both drafting documents for clients and counseling individual clients. She has also worked to recruit others to participate in the clinics.
    • Jennifer Himmelein, Esq. in recognition of her support of our pro se divorce clinics in Cuyahoga County. Jennifer has presented at clinics, recruited others to volunteer with Legal Aid, and presented at multiple CLEs on the importance and benefits of pro bono.

Volunteers play an important role in helping us close the justice gap, and we are sincerely grateful for their dedicated service. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Legal Aid, click here.

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