LRS attorney receives prestigious alumni award

August 17, 2010

Susan Tobin, Chief Legal Counsel at Ohio Legal Rights Service (LRS), is the recipient of the 2010 Public Service Award from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Alumni Society.

Sue Tobin stands holding her award with Dean Alan MichaelsSue Tobin and Alan Michaels, Dean of the Moritz College of Law

The award recognizes Tobin's accomplishments in her legal career at LRS, Ohio's system to protect and advocate the rights of people with disabilities. Alan Michaels, Dean of the Moritz College of Law, in presenting the award to Tobin acknowledged her public interest work where she advocates for the most vulnerable children, those with disabilities and in the process, she changed lives, changed laws and changed attitudes. Michaels specifically mentioned the Doe vs State of Ohio class action suit. With Tobin as the lead attorney, the Doe settlement impacts the quality of education for over 280,000 children with disabilities in Ohio's schools through improved monitoring and enforcement of federal special education laws. Michael's concluded that, "Representing both individuals and institutions, Sue has shaped disability case law in Ohio."

Tobin's acceptance speech (PDF file) highlighted how she uses her law degree to provide access to justice. Her comments reflect her passion for protecting the rights of people with disabilities and her respect for clients. She said that LRS clients "have been denied equal access to housing, education, jobs, vocational training, health care, voting and transportation. Some have suffered unspeakable physical and emotional cruelty. Despite their experiences they have shown great courage, persistence, resiliency and grace. They seek change not only for themselves but also for others similarly situated."

Sue Tobin stands with Ohio Legal Rights Service Commission chairperson Kalpana YalamanchiliSue Tobin and Kalpana Yalamanchili, LRS Commission Chairperson

About the award

The Public Service Award recognizes an individual whose public interest career exemplifies a commitment to promote and provide access to the legal system. A reception on August 16, 2010 at the Moritz Barrister Club honoring Tobin, a 1981 graduate, was attended by over 250 people.

See also the article from the Moritz School of Law: Tobin '81 Receives Moritz 2010 Public Service Award