After graduating from law school at Ohio State (preceded by undergrad at Miami University and a Master’s in journalism from OSU), Trish Tweel worked for 15 years in a small firm.  The bulk of her practice was as a program attorney for the Ohio Education Association, representing teachers with issues relating to the State Teachers Retirement System. After “retiring” from that firm to raise children for a while, she returned to work at OSU law school as a part of the professional development office, working with students as they developed their career interests and job searches.  In her final year at Moritz she initiated and oversaw the Moritz Board Fellows Program, in which students are matched with non-profit organizations to take part as non-voting members of their boards. “The motivation for that program was to prepare students for responsibilities/opportunities for community contribution that are a part of a full legal career,” Trish explains.

When she retired from OSU last year, Trish realized that this responsibility/opportunity continues beyond retirement so, “reacting to the semi-panic of how to fill time,” she quickly started looking into ways she could do something of substance on a volunteer basis.

A number of students with whom she had worked at Moritz spent time at LASC, and LASC staff are contributors to many programs at the law school, so Trish had a general idea of its work.  Because she and her husband had recently moved to German Village, offering a pretty 10-minute walk to LASC’s office, connecting with LASC was a natural choice.

Although she had never practiced in the domestic relations area, Trish had served as a GAL in juvenile court over the years, so she started volunteering “in house” with the LASC domestic relations team.  “This has been really fulfilling for me in that, on one hand, never having practiced in this area I have enjoyed learning the legal ropes; on the other hand, being a GAL, wife, mother and grandmother and, really, just having had the life experiences of many years, gives me a bit of context for many of the issues faced by LASC’s clients.”

Trish continues: “I’ve really enjoyed working with the staff at LASC, all of whom have impressed me with their advocacy for clients.  Like anyone who reads the newspapers, I am well aware of the pressing issues of our times, including poverty, women’s empowerment, immigration, all of which intersect with the domestic team’s work.  Prior to spending time at LASC my understanding of these challenges was on a more global, general level.  Now, spending time speaking sometimes at great length with clients faced with these issues in very specific personal ways has given me a new appreciation for the role LASC plays in our community.  That has been a true gift to me.”

Stu Itani, Managing Attorney for the domestic team, has been thrilled to work with Trish: “Trish has been an invaluable addition to the team, and she consistently finds ways to be responsive to the needs of our clients. Trish has been doing an amazing job and is an example of someone who has taken some of their professional skills and built upon them in the volunteer capacity. She has gone from counseling and guiding law students to working some extended one-on-one with a very needy client who needs a lot of guidance.”

Thank you, Trish, for spending some of your valuable retirement time ensuring access to justice in our community! Trish is one of many retired lawyers and other professionals who contribute to LASC and SEOLS.

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