City of Cleveland attorney Annette Butler says she can’t ever remember a time when she didn’t volunteer with The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. “It’s just something you do,” she says.
She went to law school hoping to work in corporate law – but in the early 1970’s, female lawyers and African-American lawyers found closed doors. She started working for the government and soon developed an expertise in employment and antidiscrimination policies. Around this time, she founded the Black Women Lawyers of Greater Cleveland (with former Legal Aid board member Almeta Johnson) – a precursor to the Norman S. Minor Bar Association. She worked at a law firm, she was a Common Pleas Judge, raised two children and volunteered for numerous organizations and boards including Cleveland State University.
Despite her busy schedule, she makes time to mentor young attorneys through the Ohio Supreme Court’s Lawyer-to-Lawyer mentoring program, always encouraging them to make Legal Aid a priority. Through it all, the one thing that has remained constant is her involvement with Legal Aid as a volunteer and financial supporter.
“Annette has been a critical mainstay at our Brief Advice Clinics,” says Ann Porath, head of Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyers Program. “To have someone at the clinics with her depth of experience and knowledge is so valuable to the
clients we serve. I have seen clients benefit from Annette’s expert advice and her calm interaction with clients diffuses
anxiety and concern.”
Join Attorney Butler as a financial supporter of Legal Aid by visiting www.lasclev.org/donate. Or, catch-up with Attorney Butler at a brief advice clinic – sign-up today by visiting www.lasclev.org/volunteer.