Legal Aid celebrates deputy's accomplishments

AKRON - There’s a saying in the legal field - “pro bono” - that has extended beyond the legal professional. It’s now commonly used in everyday conversation by people to allude to free services of any kind. But its true meaning, the Latin translation, is “for the public good.”

“That’s what Jennifer van Dulmen is all about,” said Steven McGarrity, executive director of Community Legal Aid Services.

McGarrity explained that Legal Aid is celebrating its deputy director, Jennifer van Dulmen for recent accomplishments.

A long-standing leader in engaging private practice attorneys for the Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP), van Dulmen was honored as the 2019 Tonya Neiman Pro Bono Professional of the Year during the Equal Justice Conference in May of this year. van Dulmen received her award during the National Associations of Pro Bono Professionals conference, sponsored by American Bar Association and the National Legal Aid Defender Association.

Additionally, van Dulmen has been selected to serve on the Akron Bar Association’s Board of Trustees. Having served in leadership capacities on a local, state, and national level, van Dulmen brings a rich history of experience and passion for the legal profession to her new role.

“Having the experience of working with and leading the top pro bono professionals in the country was a thrill and enriched our local Volunteer Legal Services Program,” says van Dulmen. “Having those same professionals honor my contributions is truly a recognition that I am proud to share with my staff and the pro bono attorneys who have been on this journey with me.”

As deputy director at Legal Aid, van Dulmen is tasked with supervising client services and developing innovative service delivery models that are responsive to client and community needs. She also oversees employee training and professional development.

“In her 13 years with Legal Aid, Jen’s worn many hats, sometimes simultaneously,” shared McGarrity. “She’s led team members in serving some of our most vulnerable clients, victims of domestic violence, and is a champion for professional development. But her leadership for our Volunteer Legal Services Program has been nothing short of visionary, and we’re so proud that her efforts have been recognized not just by our team and our volunteers throughout northeast Ohio, but at the national level.”

In addition to her role at Legal Aid, van Dulmen serves as liaison to the statewide Family Law Task Force and sits on the boards of the Committee on Regional Training (CORT) and the Ohio Training and Advisory Committee (OTAC).

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