Attorney Jason Beehler came into doing volunteer Pro Bono work quite naturally. Helping others, frankly, is in his blood. His mother has worked as a Public Defender for 30 years and his father, a volunteer woodworker, regularly makes toys for children who cannot afford them. Given these role models that he had while growing up, Jason’s current interest and Pro Bono involvement with the VRC housing project is not much of a surprise.
Jason grew up in Indianapolis and completed his undergraduate studies at Ohio Wesleyan University with a B.A. in English. He worked for six years at the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and then enrolled in The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2006. After graduating in 2009, Jason began working at Chester, Willcox and Saxbe. A colleague there encouraged him to work on a Pro Bono landlord tenant case, and ever since then he has been volunteering his time to help others who cannot afford an attorney.
Currently an associate with Kegler, Brown Hill + Ritter who specializes in commercial and civil litigation, Jason takes advantage of the firm’s policy that allows a certain number of Pro Bono hours to go towards his billable hour requirement. Despite this generous firm policy, Jason states “I would do it even if [Kegler] didn’t credit the hours. I learned early in my practice that you have to make time for the things that are important to you as a lawyer and a person.” He chose to continue working with LASC’s VRC housing project, which finds pro bono counsel for tenants facing eviction in Franklin County.
Jason has had several memorable clients with housing issues for which he was able to assist. One client was evicted for violating her complex’s pet policy. Although the client removed the animals as soon as the landlord asked, they filed an eviction against her anyway. “She really didn’t want to leave her apartment,” Jason said. “Her grandkids lived with her, and it was the first time they were doing well in school, so she didn’t want to move them. We were successful in defeating the eviction, and [the client] told me several times that it was the first time she felt like somebody was willing to fight for her.”
Jason is thankful that he was able to make a difference for that client, stating “it is extremely rewarding and I felt like I had helped someone who would otherwise be left in an unpredictable situation.”
Why does Jason do what he does? He wants to level the playing field and ensure fairness is provided for all people in the legal process. He says “it’s scary to be a tenant up against a landlord with a lawyer. I hope I give clients the comfort of knowing someone is on their side.”
Jason’s commitment to volunteer work with the VRC at Legal Aid is greatly appreciated by his family, community, fellow attorneys, but most importantly, the clients in need whom he so altruistically serves.
To learn more about how you can become involved with the VRC, visit our Get Involved section.