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In an effort to maintain the standard of high-quality legal services for low-income persons, legal services law firms and agencies in northwest Ohio depend on support from a wide array of sources, including foundations, legislators and government officials, the business community, and, most importantly, the legal community. The need for legal assistance for Ohio's poor and at-risk families and children has never been greater.


6:00 p.m VIP Reception
6:30 p.m. Public Reception
7:00 p.m. Dinner & Awards Ceremony

The Pinnacle: 1772 Indian Wood Circle | Maumee, Ohio

>> Download invitation and RSVP form (PDF) <<

The purpose of the Access to Justice Awards Dinner is to celebrate the great work of legal aid and pro bono programs in our community; to increase critical financial support for legal services to the poor; to recognize individuals and organizations for their extraordinary service in the public interest; and, to hear from a prominent national leader on the importance of equal access to justice in our society.

2015 Access to Justice Awards Recipients

The Access to Justice Awards Dinner attracts more than 500 attendees including local and regional community leaders, public officials, attorneys, judges, and community advocates. Our 2015 Community Advocacy Award recipient is  Phyllis Morton for long-time volunteer service as a CASA, Citizens Review Board member, and as a certified ombudsman for Nursing Home Advocacy. A second Community Advocacy Award recipient is the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo for more than 100 years of services that meet the needs of the poor and impoverished throughout the Diocese of Toledo. A Public Interest Law Award is being awarded to attorney Matthew Reger, director and founder of Community Christian Legal Services, Inc. (CCLS).  Since 2010, CCLS has recruited volunteer attorneys to assist more than 500 low-income people from rural counties with legal help.

Featured Speaker

Jeannette Walls' memoir, The Glass Castle, has been a New York Times best-seller for more than four years, has sold 3.5 million copies in the US alone, been translated into 22 languages, and is being made into a movie by Paramount. It was named one of the "Top 10 Books of the Decade" by Amazon, and has won numerous awards including the Christopher Award, the American Library Association's Alex Award, and the Books for Better Living Award. Jeannette Walls will talk about her experiences growing up in extreme poverty and the problems that plagued her family, and how she was able to break free of a destructive lifestyle and become a successful journalist. Jeannette and her siblings lived in a series of cars, tents, or leaky-roofed houses without heat. They forage for food in farmers' fields and trash cans, wear cast-off clothing, and bathe so infrequently as to attract the scorn of schoolmates. Their unstructured life and economic deprivation are partly a product of their father's alcoholism, and partly a result of their mother’s free-spiritedness, which often bordered on mental illness.