Legal Fellows Focus on Urgent Issues Facing Ohioans

Columbus, OH—October 2, 2013—The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation (“the Foundation”) today announced the 2013 Class of Equal Justice Works Fellows. Through the fellowship program, seven outstanding law school graduates will focus on urgent issues facing individuals and families throughout Ohio. The 2013 fellows will work with seniors, veterans, children in foster care, and immigrant communities throughout the state. The Foundation, the largest funder of civil legal aid in Ohio, has sponsored a competitive fellowship annually since 1999.  The Foundation partners with Washington, D.C.-based Equal Justice Works, which provides recruiting, training and some matching funds to support the fellows.

“Our organization is rooted in the belief that all individuals should have access to justice regardless of their income,” said Angela M. Lloyd, the Foundation’s Executive Director. . “These seven fellows will help deliver on that promise by addressing the unmet civil legal needs of some of Ohio’s most underserved populations.”

“With staff reductions at legal aid organizations resulting from a significant, continuing reductions in funding, the fellows are urgently needed,” Lloyd said.

Since 1999, the Foundation  has supported Equal Justice Work fellows who have delivered critically-needed civil legal aid to sustain housing and prevent homelessness; to ensure economic stability; to keep kids healthy and in school; and to serve Ohio’s veterans.  More than 80% of the fellows funded by the Foundation remain in public interest today, working in the nonprofit sector, for the government, and for legal aids around the state. 

“The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation has played a critical role in launching the public interest careers of more than 40 young attorneys,” said David Stern, Executive Director of Equal Justice Works. “Their outstanding commitment has helped ensure equal access to the justice system for Ohio’s most vulnerable individuals.”

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The Foundation was established in 1995 to fund and to enhance civil legal aid for Ohioans. The Foundation uses no general revenue funds, but instead utilizes dollars earned from the interest on lawyers trust accounts, the interest on title agent trust accounts, and a civil filing fee surcharge to ensure that Ohioans have access to justice regardless of their income.   The Foundation funds lawyers who change lives for veterans, children, victims of domestic violence, and people facing foreclosure.  Through the work of the Foundation, all Ohioans have access to legal information, advice and representation.

Equal Justice Works is the national leader in creating public interest opportunities for law students and lawyers. Collaborating with the nation’s leading law schools, law firms, corporate legal departments and nonprofit organizations, Equal Justice Works offers a continuum of opportunities that provide the training and skills that enable attorneys to provide effective representation to underserved communities and causes. Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For additional information about Equal Justice Works, please visit www.equaljusticeworks.org

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