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We are fortunate to work with amazing volunteers. Hear from a few of them and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French in our new video, produced by the Ohio State Bar Association!

The Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC), Columbus Bar Association (CBA), and Columbus Bar Foundation (CBF) are thrilled to announce this year’s Pro Bono Awards recipients.

Pro Bono Service by an IndividualWilliam Pohlman – In 2013, Bill Pohlman reached out to LASC, interested in helping people in poverty in his community. With his extensive litigation experience, Bill has been an extraordinary boost to LASC’s staff, assisting with appellate advocacy, commenting on appellate briefs, and serving as a judge in mock oral arguments.  In addition to his work with the staff, Bill has immersed himself in the work of the LASC pro bono Clean Slate clinics, providing case law updates in advance of each clinic and attending nearly every clinic throughout the LASC and Southeastern Ohio service areas offered since 2014. In 2017, Bill joined one of the newer LASC brief advice clinics at the Franklin County Municipal Court Self Help Center.


Service by a Law Firm or CorporationKegler Brown Hill + Ritter – Kegler has been a strong pro bono partner for LASC for many years. It is receiving the 2018 Service by a Law Firm Award for its exceptional leadership with the LASC Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program and its more recent active participation in the Tenant Advocacy Project, a daily pro bono eviction clinic at Franklin County municipal court.  Led by Larry McClatchey and Christy Prince, Kegler has been heavily involved in the advancement of the LASC Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program, participating on the Pro Bono committee, staffing the planning committee for the annual Fresh Start Gala, and handling individual Chapter 7 case referrals. With Jason Beehler’s leadership, Kegler commits to two “TAP” eviction clinics each month, sending lawyers to advocate on behalf of tenants in crisis.


“In the Trenches”Martin (Sam) Krauss – Sam Krauss has accepted an impressive 18 pro bono cases from LASC since it launched the Unemployment Compensation Appeal Project (UCAP), but this number fails to fully capture his contribution to the program. Lawyers often hesitate to volunteer for a particular project because they lack experience in the substantive area, thereby necessitating mentor attorneys who are willing to offer opportunities to shadow, review case plans, and discuss strategy. As a former hearing officer, Sam has been a fantastic mentor for the UCAP program, responding within minutes to every request for help and guiding LASC’s own staff attorneys in their more complex unemployment compensation case work.  Sam does all of this while also providing excellent service to pro bono clients.


Clinic Service – Kathleen Lawrence (L Brands) began volunteering with LASC Brief Advice Clinics when she was still in law school while somehow also balancing a full-time position as a Senior Manager of Customs Planning and Post Entry at L Brands. Since obtaining her license in 2014, she has been a constant presence at multiple pro bono clinics, including those at Crossroads United Methodist Church in the Hilltop, New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, and the Westerville Public Library. In 2017 alone, Kathleen volunteered at 28 LASC clinics. She is always willing to provide advice on any issue, employing patience and kindness to help clients feel more empowered to resolve their legal issues.


New Attorney Pro Bono Service Zach Eddy – Since becoming licensed in late 2017, Zach Eddy of Bricker & Eckler has thrown himself into pro bono work. Logging an impressive 186 pro bono hours in his first 11 months of practice, Zach has been a regular presence at the LASC Tenant Advocacy Project, taking on additional more complex pro bono cases for extended service representation. He credits Bricker for supporting pro bono work, as the firm not only supports community service but also acknowledges the benefits pro bono work can provide for new lawyers  by offering them opportunities to work directly with clients, handle negotiations with opposing counsel, and spend time in front of a judge or magistrate.


2018 Pro Bono SupportAngela Writesel (Nationwide) – Angela Writesel is more than deserving of this year’s Pro Bono Support Award for her outstanding work with the pro bono wills clinics sponsored by LASC and the Paralegal Association of Central Ohio (PACO). Spearheaded by paralegal Teresa Scharf and LASC managing attorney Marcia Palof, the LASC/PACO clinics travel to low-income senior residential facilities throughout Central Ohio, offering pro bono drafting of wills and advance directives.  As a Financial Services Analyst on the Retirement Plans and Correspondence Team at Nationwide, Angela attends nearly every wills clinic, partnering with volunteer lawyers to assist low-income seniors with critical documents.

These volunteers are only a few of the hundreds of amazing individuals and firms who contribute time and resources to our program.

Will you join us?



The needs of the poor often go unmet.

Jane Taylor, Justice French, Lori Keating - Reception - 2015 - Greyscale



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