Contact: Jennifer Rieman; (614) 715-8572

COLUMBUS (April 27, 2018) — Judge Luann Cooperrider of Perry County Probate Court/Juvenile Court and Judge Dean Wilson of Perry County Municipal Court are the 2018 recipients of the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation Presidential Award for Pro Bono Service. The award was presented today at the Ohio State Bar Association’s (OSBA) offices during a meeting of the OSBA’s Council of Delegates.

The Presidential Award is presented annually to individuals, law firms or organizations that have made outstanding efforts in improving access to justice through pro bono or volunteer service.

In 2008, Judge Cooperrider and Judge Wilson established the Perry County Free Legal Clinic in collaboration with Southeastern Ohio Legal Services. The clinic helps to narrow the access to justice gap in Perry County by increasing access to legal help. Services include assistance with record expungement; help for fathers interested in initiating contact and visitation with their children; and a partnership with the local county recorder to help residents better understand probate issues regarding property transfers.

The clinic has served more than 800 clients, including dozens of veterans.

“Through their vision and leadership, Judge Cooperrider and Judge Wilson have helped to ensure that the promise of justice for all is a greater reality for residents of Perry County,” said David Kutik, president of the board of the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation.

Judge Cooperrider began her legal career in private practice. She is both the first female lawyer to serve as assistant prosecutor in Perry County and the first female judge in the county. She has been recognized by the OSBA with the Women in Law Award, by the Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections with the C.J. McLin Award, and was selected by her peers to serve as president of the Ohio Association of Juvenile Judges. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School.

During his 27-year tenure as Perry County Municipal Court Judge, Judge Wilson has served in leadership roles with the Perry County Bar Association, as a mentor for the Ohio Judicial College, and as a member of the Community Correction Board as appointed by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Judge Wilson was instrumental in the formation of the Perry County New Direction Drug Court, a specialized drug court docket that provides access to a range of alcohol and drug treatment counseling services as well as mental health counseling. He is a graduate of Ohio University and Capital University Law School.

Download headshots of Judge Cooperrider and Judge Wilson here.

The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation was established in 1994 to fund and to enhance civil legal aid for Ohioans. The Foundation distributes revenues from the interest on lawyers trust accounts, the interest on title agent trust accounts, and a civil filing fee surcharge to ensure that Ohioans have access to justice regardless of their income. The Foundation funds lawyers who change lives for veterans, children, victims of domestic violence, and people facing foreclosure. Through the work of the Foundation, all Ohioans have access to legal information, advice and representation.