2016 Award Recipients
1. Attorney in the Private Sector Award Recipient:
Susan Tobin – JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Susan Tobin has dedicated much of her career to public service and pro bono opportunities to leave a positive impact on the community. She is currently the Vice President, Assistant General Counsel- ADA for JPMorgan Chase & Co. In this role, she uses her subject matter expertise to advise the business units, compliance, and the firm’s ADA team on the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other accessibility requirements. She is the chair of the regional pro bono committee and a member of the global pro bono and diversity committees at the firm.
Susan holds a J.D.from the The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and a B.A. from Kenyon College where she graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase in 2013, Susan spent 32 years as an attorney with the Ohio Disability Rights Law and Policy Center. Susan advocated for the special education rights of children. She was instrumental in convincing the State Department of Education to issue rules restricting the use of restraint and seclusion in Ohio’s schools. Susan was lead counsel in a state-wide class action seeking adequate and equitable funding of special education services to support students in the least restrictive setting, regardless of the wealth of their school district. She also successfully litigated on behalf of children with autism so that they could receive critical behavioral health services through Medicaid and settled a state-wide lawsuit filed on behalf of voters with disabilities who needed accommodations in the voting process. She was Chief Legal Counsel in her final years and ran the agency’s Intake Department. In 2010, Susan was awarded the Moritz College of Law’s Public Service Award. In 2014, she received the Diane Lipton Award for Outstanding Advocacy from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). In 2015, she accepted an award from the Legal Aid Society of Columbus on behalf of JPMorgan Chase for outstanding pro bono service by a law firm or corporation.
2. Attorney in the Public Sector and Non-Profit Sector Award Recipient:
John E. Hoffman, Jr. – U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio
The Honorable John E. Hoffman, Jr. has served as a judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio since 2000. He has been instrumental in the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program, a program designed to provide legal assistance to low-income individuals who otherwise would not have legal representation. He connects key players in the bankruptcy process and leads volunteer recruitment efforts. He has prioritized efforts to secure critical funding to provide staff support for the program. Judge Hoffman created a Bankruptcy Court Fellowship in collaboration with Moritz College of Law. He has also partnered with the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation to extend this opportunity through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. Under the leadership of Judge Hoffman, the Bankruptcy Program has 48 bankruptcy attorneys providing free assistance, with 69 clients receiving bankruptcy discharges in 2015. He has expanded the program to include the “Bankruptcy By-Pass Clinics,” where non-bankruptcy clients can receive free legal services to address their financial difficulties, with 52 clients receiving assistance in 2015.
Judge Hoffman received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Wheeling Jesuit University and his law degree, magna cum laude, from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor. He has served as chair of the Columbus Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Committee and as a member of the Legal Aid Society of Columbus Board of Trustees. He is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and the American Bankruptcy Institute. He also served on the board of directors for the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Endowment for Education from 2006 to 2011, and chaired the Endowment from 2007 to 2009. Judge Hoffman received the 2015 John C. and Ginny Elam Pro Bono Award from Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Judith L. French at the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) Annual Convention in Sandusky.