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Lorain Attorneys Staff Monthly Clinic, Gain Insights Outside their Day Job Niche

Matt Dooley, Esq.

Members of the Lorain County Bar Association have stepped up to offer free legal advice to those in need.

Matt Dooley’s first time volunteering at Legal Aid’s monthly legal advice clinic at Oberlin Community Services led him into experiences he doesn’t normally get in his day job as partner at O’Toole, McLaughlin, Dooley, & Pecora. First, Mr. Dooley primarily deals with class action suits and other federal cases, but his pro bono work now might bring him to small claims court.

Attorney Nikki Burns Dertouzos has also gained insights into new legal areas through volunteering with the Lorain clinic and in her role as outreach coordinator with the Lorain County Reentry Coalition.

“There are definitely some things that are not my niche, like foreclosure and bankruptcy,” Ms. Burns Dertouzos said, “But Legal Aid provides such good support and advice, I don’t ever hesitate to undertake the conversations outside my expertise.”

For Mr. Dooley, one recent pro bono experience involved reaching a settlement where his client paid a lesser amount, which she could afford. Mr. Dooley said in retrospect, “Would I do it again? Absolutely. And I’ve been encouraging other attorneys to volunteer as well.”

What: Free Legal Advice Clinic with emphasis on consumer, foreclosure, family law, housing cases, and other civil legal matters
When: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., the second Tuesday of every month
Where: The Oberlin Depot, 240 South Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074
Get Involved: Attorneys are welcome to volunteer their skills and time, and students are encouraged to help with clinic intakes. Contact the Lorain County Bar Association at (440) 323-8416, or Legal Aid Volunteer Lawyers Program at, or Oberlin Community Services at (440) 774-6579.

Read the full issue of Poetic Justice where this article appears. 

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