Akron Law Students Receive Recognition for Pro Bono Work


Cleveland Legal Aid Award Recipients

Pro Bono Award Recipients

Cleveland Legal Aid Award: From L-R
Morena Carter, Catherine Adinaro, Iken Sans and Sharece Miller
Pro Bono Award: From L-R
Chirs Nolan, Gregory McCleery, Ann Marie Sutter and Paul Perantinides

Several Akron Law students have received recent recognition for their pro bono work in the community.

Each year, the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation requests that The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland recognize outstanding law student volunteers. This year, four students from The University of Akron School of Law received that recognition. Catherine Adinaro, Morena Carter, Sharece Miller and Iken Sans were all recognized for their commitment to legal services and the clients of Legal Aid.

“Each of these law students has gone above and beyond what we hope for from our law student volunteers.  By that I mean, they have given up multiple Saturday mornings over the course of a few years to volunteer as intake volunteers at our Brief Advice Clinics. We typically get about 10 law students at each clinic, and in general have a really supportive law student volunteer pool, but each of these students has contributed in a more significant fashion,” explained Lauren Gilbride, staff attorney for the Volunteer Lawyers Program of The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. “They have also helped trained new volunteers and each has attended enough clinics that they’ve become familiar with our typical legal issues and can help issue spot and identify problems as well as conduct quick research for the volunteer attorneys. In addition, they each have excellent interviewing skills and treat the clients with kindness and respect. As a former law student, I know how precious Saturday mornings can be, and Iken, Cathi, Morena and Sharece have all given up their own time to help both The Legal Aid Society and our clients.  They’re wonderful!”

At the 2011 Akron Law Commencement ceremony, two graduating students, Ann Marie Sutter and Gregory McCleery, were recognized for their commitment to pro bono by the law firm with the third annual Pro Bono Award, which is sponsored by the law firm Perantinides and Nolan. The Pro Bono award is given to honor law students who have demonstrated a commitment to volunteer service. These students accumulated the most hours throughout this past school year, and for their hard work, they each received an award of $500.

Akron Law is committed to community service and pro bono, which is a requirement for graduation. Under the terms of this requirement, Akron Law students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of community service prior to graduation. Of these 30 hours, at least 10 must be pro bono and five must be focused on serving those of limited financial means. The Akron Law faculty and administration hopes that this requirement will not only impact current students, but will also foster a spirit of service in Akron Law graduates as they move on to the practice of law. It is the duty and privilege of Akron Law, its students, and alumni to strive to better the communities that they live/work in.

 “Our law students donate hundreds of hours each year to projects in their communities. Their commitment to service makes a real difference in the lives of so many deserving people,” said Joann Sahl, assistant director of the Akron Law Legal Clinic and pro bono coordinator.