Volume 11 August/September 2020
Pursuing Justice, Changing Lives
In this issue: Brenda Bowers Legacy Scholarship, Pro Bono Award nominations, volunteer opportunities and more.
Brenda Bowers

Brenda Bowers Was a Passionate Volunteer Who Assisted Many Through Her Legal Work and Dedication to Helping Others

Legal Aid lost a great friend earlier this year with the passing of Brenda K. Bowers. Brenda, who lost her battle with cancer in March, assisted LASC in a variety of ways throughout her career as a bankruptcy attorney in central Ohio. 
She was an original and dedicated member of the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Committee that was created in 2011 under the leadership of Judge John Hoffman. Brenda also played an integral role in creating Legal Aid’s Bankruptcy By-Pass Clinic, which assists elderly and disabled clients in stopping creditor harassment. She served on the LASC Fresh Start Gala Planning Committee for several years, helping raise more than $100,000 for bankruptcy programming. 
“Brenda was passionate about helping low-income people navigate the court system and work toward a more stable financial future,” said Legal Aid Staff Attorney Melissa Linville. “She not only participated in our pro bono programming herself, she encouraged others to donate time to Legal Aid.” 
Brenda was an active member of the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, said Susan L. Rhiel, who served as IWIRC chair from 1997-2000. “Brenda brought her passion for change and her commitment to promoting and mentoring women to everything she did,” Rhiel said. “She was a quiet force but a powerful one.” 

Because of Brenda’s commitment to encouraging and mentoring law students, IWIRC and Brenda’s family have established a legacy scholarship at Brenda’s alma mater, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. If you are interested in donating to the scholarship fund, checks can be made payable to The Ohio State University Foundation Fund #317024, and can be mailed to The Ohio State University Foundation, 1480 West Lane Avenue, Columbus, OH 43221. To make an electronic payment via credit card, use this link: https://www.giveto.osu.edu/makeagift/ and indicate fund #317024.
Brenda served as Of Counsel to Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease as well as a Chapter 7 Trustee for the Southern District of Ohio. She is survived by her wife, Susan Jenkins, and her mother, Carol Bowers. 

The CBA pro bono committee is now accepting nominations for our 2020 Pro Bono Awards. The awards will be jointly presented by the Legal Aid Society of Columbus and Columbus Bar Association at a virtual pro bono reception scheduled for Tuesday, October 27, 2020. The committee is seeking nominations for the following categories:

Outstanding Pro Bono Service by an Individual
Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Law Firm or Corporation 
Outstanding Pro Bono Support 
“In the Trenches” Pro Bono Service 
Outstanding Pro Bono Project 
Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a New Lawyer

Your nomination should include a brief description of the pro bono work done by your nominee and why the individual, firm, or project should be considered for a 2020 Pro Bono Award. The deadline to submit all nominations is Friday, September 25, 2020. Please email your nominations to CBA pro bono committee chair Melissa Linville
Help Us Prepare for Pro Bono Month
Volunteers, we need your help putting together a video for our Pro Bono Awards reception in October.

Please record yourself answering the question: Why do I volunteer with legal aid? Send the videos to Melissa Dutton.

Helpful Hints for recording a video:

*test your phone's audio
*keep messages to 30 seconds or less
*record in front of a solid background
*hold phone horizontally

Appeals Court Decision will Help Tenants Facing Eviction
LASC won a case in the Tenth District Court of Appeals that will have a wide-reaching impact on tenants facing eviction. The court's decision in T&R Properties, Inc. v. Traci Wimberly overrides a long-standing policy in Franklin County eviction court that allowed landlords and property managers to plead their cases via affidavit. Legal Aid argued that landlords should have to present live witness testimony at trial just like any other plaintiff involved in a court proceeding. Moving forward, eviction judgments will no longer be issued based only on testimony by affidavit.

Special thanks to Bricker & Eckler for preparing the Amicus brief pro bono and to all of the attorneys who donate time to the Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP).

We would welcome additional pro bono support for TAP as the pandemic has increased the need for assistance at eviction court. Anyone interested in providing help at our TAP clinic or offering virtual advice to tenants should contact Dianna Parker.
Webinar will Prepare Attorneys to Aid with Chapter 7 Proceedings
This program will prepare volunteer attorneys who provide critical representation to low-income individuals in Chapter 7 Proceedings. The first part of the training will provide an overview of bankruptcy practice, as well as Ohio State Legal Services Association’s bankruptcy pro bono project. The second part of the training will focus on specific bankruptcy issues that arise when representing low-income clients. This training is designed for attorneys new to practice or those who want to focus on issues low-income bankruptcy clients face in the bankruptcy process. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on
Sept. 25. Application has been made for 3.5 hours of CLE credit.
Volunteers Needed for Bridging the Divide Project

Legal Aid needs attorneys who can offer general family law advice, assist with divorces or work on a special project that helps grandparents coping with the opioid epidemic file for custody of their grandchildren.