LASC/CBA/CBF Pro Bono Awards

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. Awards will be presented at the 2019 Pro Bono Reception during the ABA National Pro Bono Celebration Week at the Columbus Bar Association on Thursday, October 24 at 5:00 PM.

Pro Bono Service by an IndividualNita Hanson – Nita regularly attends two of LASC’s harder-to-staff evening brief advice clinics: one in the Hilltop and another in East Columbus and does so with dogged consistency. Nita has not limited her participation to the advice clinics. She has taken on pro bono eviction cases, ensuring low-income tenants have a voice in the legal system, through the LASC Volunteer Resource Center and LASC Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP).

Service by a Law Firm or CorporationIce Miller LLP – Led by Pro Bono Coordinator and LASC Board Member John Gilligan, Ice Miller has been a strong pro bono partner for years, focusing much of its lawyers’ work on Volunteer Resource Center pro bono case referrals and TAP Clinic. When Ice Miller comes to TAP, they bring an army. On February 7, 2019, the attorneys from TAP and Ice Miller set a record of assisting in twenty-seven eviction cases. Not only do they bring attorneys in numbers, they advocate passionately for our clients in order to level the playing field in eviction court.

“In the Trenches”Athena Inembolidis – Athena has participated in the Chapter 7 Pro Bono Referral program since its inception in 2012. She is always willing to take a case and provides the highest level of service to our clients, walking them through each step of the process with professionalism. Athena owns her on practice and specializes in consumer bankruptcy matters.

Clinic Service – Vicki Jenkins – Vicki began volunteering with the legal clinics at local Columbus shelters when the CBA first launched the Homeless Project more than thirty years ago. Since that time, she has been committed to providing legal services at local shelters, initially helping at Friends of the Homeless and more recently with the Faith Mission shelters downtown and on 8th Avenue. Vicki’s pro bono commitment extends to her involvement as a Supreme Court Mentor, where she actively recruits mentees to assist with LASC pro bono programming.

Clinic Service – Deb Dunkerley – In 2017, Deb joined the wills clinic sponsored by LASC and the Paralegal Association of Central Ohio. Since that time, she has become the clinic’s “go-to” attorney, handling challenging clients with professionalism and grace. By the date of the reception, she will have attended an incredible 14 Wills clinics in 2019 and an additional 12 clinics since she first joined the project.

New Attorney Pro Bono Service Ali Latif – Ali applied to volunteer with LASC in the fall of 2017, interested in committing substantial hours to help LASC clients in any way the program saw fit. Last year, while also building his own private practice, he donated an impressive 125 pro bono hours to the LASC Consumer team, assisting low-income consumers with debt collection issues by helping with discovery, motion drafting, client interviewing, and drafting demand letters.  Ali’s participation as an LASC in-house volunteer is a wonderful example of how a new lawyer building a practice can also incorporate volunteerism into his schedule.


Please joins us for the annual Pro Bono Reception from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Columbus Bar Association, 175 S. 3rd Street, Columbus, 43215.

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