Attorney Debra Rothstein Clark has always been committed to serving others. During her long and accomplished career at the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, Rothstein Clark helped hundreds of low-income Ohioans access legal services, a commitment she has continued in retirement.

For her extraordinary pro bono service to the Clermont County Domestic Relations Court, the Adams County Court, and the Ohio Justice Bus, Rothstein Clark received the 2024 John and Ginny Elam Pro Bono Award at the May 7 OSBA Council of Delegates meeting, a fitting honor.

“Debra has gone above and beyond as a Bus volunteer,” said Sophia Chang, the Foundation’s pro bono director. “We were thrilled to nominate her for the Elam Award, one of the highest honors for pro bono service.”

Rothstein Clark began her pro bono journey in 2019 when she volunteered as a guardian ad litem (GAL) for the Clermont County Domestic Relations Court. There, she accepted appointments from the Court for a remarkable 30 cases — all pro bono. During both her legal aid and pro bono careers, Rothstein Clark has been a fierce advocate for children in abuse and neglect cases.

“I’ve always felt an overwhelming sense of purpose doing this work,” Rothstein Clark said. “Given my knowledge and experience with the system, I truly enjoy thinking of all the ways I can assist my clients.”

In August 2021, Rothstein Clark began volunteering with the Ohio Justice Bus at its monthly clinic at the Clermont County Domestic Relations Court. In 2022, she expanded her service to the Bus by volunteering at the Adams County Courthouse clinic, a commitment she made despite living an hour away. Since then, Rothstein Clark has volunteered with the Bus every month for three years, donating hundreds of hours to helping Ohioans in need with domestic relations and juvenile issues.

“It’s truly inspiring to see how resilient people are in the midst of crisis,” Rothstein Clark said of her experience volunteering with the Bus. “Many remain hopeful about their situation and are excited to hear about their options. It’s very rewarding.”

For her incredible commitment to pro bono service, the Foundation congratulates 2024 Elam Award recipient Debra Rothstein Clark.

The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation annually presents the Presidential, Voice of Justice, and Denis J. Murphy awards to outstanding leaders. Learn more about the Foundation’s awards.