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2024 Access to Justice Celebration

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE), the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project (GDVLP), and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) will host the annual Access to Justice Awards Celebration on Thursday, November 7, 2024, at the Sinclair Community College.

The Access to Justice Awards Celebration is an annual event led by the Dayton legal community for the last 20 years to engage the community, raise awareness and the proceeds provide financial support for critical legal services in our region.

Learn more about the great work that we do to help those in our community who need access to affordable legal services and hear about the impact our award recipients have daily. Your support of the 2024 Campaign for Equal Justice makes the legal services we provide possible.

Did you know that by attending the event or giving to the campaign, you help to provide services to veterans, survivors of domestic violence, food and housing-insecure individuals, children with special needs, immigrants and agricultural workers, and more?

Festivities include heavy hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, networking opportunities, and recognition of our worthy Access to Justice Awards Celebration recipients.


Click here to make your nominations!


2024 Program

Victor Goode, national representative of the NAACP, will be the featured speaker during the Access to Justice Event. He will be speaking about the impact of Social Justice on the community and the pressing needs of those who do not have access to affordable legal services.


Access to Justice Awards

The awards presented include the Lloyd O'Hara Public Interest Law Award, Patricia Rousseau Community Advocacy Award and the Brilliance Award – a new award for an up-and-coming attorney that shines above those who are just starting their careers.


Lloyd O’Hara Public Interest Award

The Public Interest Law Award is named after Lloyd O’Hara because of his pioneering efforts to establish a Legal Aid Society in Dayton in the 1960s. O’Hara believed that everyone deserved access to legal representation, regardless of ability to pay.  He devoted much of his personal time and resources as one of the original founders, and he continued his support for the agency and its mission throughout his lifetime.

Named after the late influential Dayton attorney, Lloyd O’Hara—who was a member of the American Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, and the Dayton Bar Association, and was active in founding the Legal Aid Society of Dayton, serving as its first President—the Lloyd O’Hara Public Interest Law Award is awarded to attorneys, judges, and law firms that have demonstrated a commitment to representing marginalized clients and community members.  Representation over time and the pro bono nature of the work are heavily considered in the final selection of this award recipient.


Patricia Rousseau Community Advocacy Award

The Patricia Rousseau Community Advocacy Award—named after the late attorney, educator, advocate, and activist who served as a member of many community-minded organizational boards, including the First Baptist Church, ABLE and LAWO, the Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project, and MLK Dayton—is awarded to community organizers and grassroots organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people and groups living in the Greater Dayton area.

The award is intended to recognize advocacy and community organizing, rather than direct provision of human services.

Brilliance Award for an Up-and-Coming Legal Professional

The award will be given to someone who has been in the legal profession 10 years or less, has shown an interest in advocacy, has over 75 pro-bono hours in the last year and has a passion for the profession.  They will have an active interest in their community by volunteering, serving on local boards or helping those in need in the Greater Miami Valley Area.


Click here to make your nominations!


For additional questions about supporting the Campaign for Equal Justice, please contact Jennifer Snedigar, Regional Director of Development at