Perantinides and Nolan Law Firm Awarded for Contribution to Community Legal Aid

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2012 | Community Service

Legal News staff report, 
Published: March 7, 2012:  Attorney Paul Perantinides and the law firm of Perantinides and Nolan in downtown Akron were recently recognized by Community Legal Aid Services Inc. for their generous financial contribution to the non-profit law firm that serves the legal needs of low income and senior Ohioans in eight counties including Summit, Portage, Mahoning and Trumbull.

Back row L to R: Rob Horton, Steve Grachanin, Tony Tsarouhas, Dave Petroff. Front row L to R: Nancy Dinger, Paul Perantinides, Sara Strattan, Chris Nolan, Vicky Nolan. (Legal News photo).

“We are here because we are so extraordinarily grateful to you and your firm,” said Sara Strattan, legal aid’s executive director.”

“Last year, we had 90,000 telephone calls [for help in eight counties],” Strattan said. “We’ve lost $3.2 million in our core funding since 2007. It’s people like you who have a strong belief in making sure that poor people have a chance to achieve what their entitled to, and who put their actions and their funds behind that are just remarkable. We are very grateful.”

Everybody at the firm of Perantinides and Nolan contributed to the donation that was made, said Perantinides, co-chair of legal aid’s “Justice For All” campaign with Attorney Bill Dowling.

“For all the complaining that big business does about the legal system, they are the first ones that have access to it. They make no hesitancy about getting access to it and committing enormous resources to make sure that their respective clients get their justice. And along the way, everyday hard working people are left behind, and that’s a tragedy.”

The paradigm of such legal non-profits throughout the country is that funding is shifting dramatically from state and federal assistance to private donations, Perantinides added.

“The onus really rests with people in this firm and all firms, because we are all committed to making sure people get their justice. And unfortunately, justice is not inexpensive,” he said. “It does cost a whole lot of money and a whole lot of resources. It’s in difficult times that our character is truly tested and tried. These decisions are made collectively, and everybody here has supported what you (legal aid) do. We never question if we have done too much, we only question if we have done enough.

“When firms like this, and the people here, much like in the other firms that have contributed and the individuals who have contributed and from among the bar association – it helps keeps this access available to hard working people. That is our commitment.

“There are many things firms do across the country where lawyers give their time, talent and treasure to make sure people get their fair shake in court. To hear [legal aid] had 90,000 calls is outstanding.”

Last year, Strattan said 34-plus hardworking legal aid lawyers closed 10,000 cases – a huge load.

“When our founding fathers started this country, one of the basic premises was that everybody has access to the courts, whether you’re rich or poor,” Attorney Chris Nolan added. “Unfortunately I think over the years, either the rich obviously had more access than sometimes the poor did. I think an organization like Community Legal Aid Services that affords people attorneys and to have their legal questions answered, at least it gives them access to the courts. It’s a very important role that [legal aid plays] because unfortunately all the lawyers don’t get involved with people that need help, whatever their reasons are.

“Without an organization like legal aid, they wouldn’t have access to the courts, access to legal advice.

“Let’s face it, the issues people are having today – with mortgages, foreclosures, issues with collection, divorces, whatever it is – they do not all have access to the courts. Their problems can’t be solved as anticipated when this country was founded,” Nolan said.

“I think for us to be part of that, we really think it’s important aspect of what we have to do to give back to the community and to the public.”

Article courtesy of