October 17, 2018

Columbus Bar Foundation’s All-In Campaign Benefits Legal Aid Society of Columbus

On Sept. 11, the Columbus Bar Foundation provided an update on its All-In Campaign, which was created to provide further funding to the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. The All-In Campaign has raised $488,000 throughout its first three years, thanks to the many contributions of donors.

The All-In Campaign was created in 2015 by Frank Ray and the members of the Legal Aid Society Board. The second phase of the campaign will be co-chaired by Robert Tannous (Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP) and Michael Martz (Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease).

“The funds raised are used to support LASC’s programs that provide free legal services for families and children in the areas of housing, nutrition, health, education and other essential needs,” said Martz.

The initial purpose of the campaign was two-fold: to increase the size of pledges being made to the organization and to increase the size of the donor base itself. Over the next three years of the campaign, members hope to bring the total contribution amount to over $1,000,000.

“We really wanted to engage the Columbus law firm and lawyer community,” said Tannous. “Expanding the programs and opportunities for the Legal Aid Society will allow more people in the Columbus area to receive legal help.”

In 2017, LASC leveraged the help of 480 pro bono attorneys along with 230 volunteers who contributed, collectively, over 6,000 hours of their time to serve 8,038 low-income families and individuals in the Central Ohio area. In total, 16,966 individuals were impacted by legal aid, including 415 veterans.

“Without LASC, many of these families and children would have nowhere to turn for legal assistance,” said Martz.

The funds raised by the All-In Campaign go directly to LASC, helping them to continue their mission of serving underprivileged individuals and families in Central Ohio. Since the Foundation began, it has donated over $1,600,000 to LASC.

“The need for legal services for indigent clients, like other services for the poor, do not go away,” said Marion Smithberger, Executive Director of the Columbus Bar Foundation. “The Foundation board felt that they needed to take on a leadership role to raise money and volunteer support for LASC.”

Smithberger believes that the campaign is an efficient way to keep the issue in front of the Columbus legal leadership over a sustained period of time.

“As we continue to build and grow, we want to keep helping LASC provide more services for more people,” Tannous said. “We hope that we’re doing our part to decrease poverty within our community.”

If you are interested in donating to the All-In Campaign, contact Marion Smithberger at marion@cbalaw.org or call (614) 340-2070.

The Columbus Bar Foundation

The Columbus Bar Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Columbus legal community. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting understanding of the law, the role of the legal profession, and access to justice for all. Through grants, the Foundation provides seed money and support for a variety of programs. Over the past 20 years, the Foundation has carefully evaluated which community projects align with its mission and capacity to make a difference.

Legal Aid Society of Columbus

The Legal Aid Society of Columbus, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, was created by the Columbus Bar Association in 1953 to provide legal aid in civil matters that ensures access to justice for economically disadvantaged people in Central Ohio through advocacy, education and empowerment.