Pollock Honored by OSBF as 2020 recipient of The Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service
McDonald Hopkins is proud to congratulate McDonald Hopkins Senior Of Counsel R. Jeffrey Pollock on being named the 2020 recipient of The Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.
The award is given each year to an Ohio attorney whose career has been exemplified by dedication to public and community service, integrity, honor, courtesy, and professionalism.
McDonald Hopkins attorneys reflect on Jeff Pollock's selection as recipient for the 2001 Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service:
"I've worked with Jeff for over 34 years, beginning with Jeff hiring me in 1986. I learned early on in my career that Jeff is not only an outstanding litigator, but an even better person and role model. He has worked tirelessly on numerous pro bono matters over the years, including (for) mental health organizations, the NAACP legal aid, and representing the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association in disciplinary cases. Jeff is a humble and generous individual, and I applaud the Ohio State Bar Foundation for recognizing Jeff's lifetime of service and professionalism."
William O'Neill | Member, Firm General Counsel
"I've had the opportunity to work with Jeff for the past two and a half years that I have been with McDonald Hopkins. He was one of the first attorneys I met during my orientation, and we talked about the firm's pro bono work and specifically his experience with it. During that initial meeting with Jeff, I could hear the enthusiasm that he has for this type of work and for giving back to the community. It led me to want to be very involved with the pro bono work at our law firm as well. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work with Jeff extensively on a couple of matters, specifically filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio for the rights of indigent parents and parental termination cases.
Jeff was a phenomenal mentor during that time. I had not previously filed any kind of brief of that nature with the court, and he was a great help to my legal writing skills...He really introduced me to the world of all we can do to provide services to those in our community who are in need. When we were finalizing that brief, I remember Jeff was in the process of getting ready to go out of town on vacation. We still had some work to do on the brief, so I worked on it on a Friday and he showed up bright and early on a Saturday, driving to my side of town so we could meet at a Starbucks to finalize the brief. That just really spoke to me about how much of a priority he puts on being able to give back to the community and fight for those who are in need...The the fact that he was willing to adjust his vacation schedule so we could get together and make that brief the best that we could.
It has been a thrill to work with Jeff at McDonald Hopkins, and I look forward to continue to work with him on future pro bono matters. I can't think of anyone who is more deserving than Jeff for this award."
Amy Wojnarwsky | Associate, Business Department
"Jeff has always consistently encouraged me to pursue diligence and consistency in pro bono matters, and has constantly reminded me what a privilege it is to be an attorney and use our words and advocacy to make a difference in an individual’s life who might not otherwise be able to afford an attorney. Jeff is always willing to consider a new case or listen to an individual’s story, and the number of individuals that he has assisted throughout his lengthy career is likely too numerous to list out.
His continued mentorship of young attorneys and involvement in pro bono matters at our firm – even after he has been retired and could be relaxing or spending his time with his family – has inspired me to continue to work on pro bono matters throughout my career and encourage others to do the same. Jeff’s compassion and diligence for his colleagues, clients, and organizations who assist individuals in need is a model for all."
Maria Carr | Associate, Business Restructuring Services Department
“Jeff is an inspiring person to work with. His unwavering commitment to serving his community through providing pro bono legal services is unmatched. Jeff is also a strong advocate for his clients with a smooth and genuine style in the courtroom that is admirable to all. Congrats, Jeff! Well deserved!”
Sarah Mancuso | Associate, Business Litigation
The OSBF press release announcing Pollock as the recipient of The Ramey Award is below, alloing with video of the his acceptance speech:
OHIO STATE BAR FOUNDATION NAMES
R. JEFFREY POLLOCK RECIPIENT OF
RAMEY AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED COMMUNITY SERVICE
COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) has awarded R. Jeffrey Pollock, of Cleveland, with its 2020 Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service. This award is given each year to an Ohio attorney whose career has been exemplified by dedication to public and community service, integrity, honor, courtesy, and professionalism.
“Jeff has made extraordinary contributions that continue to impact and improve the lives of so many people,” said OSBF President Mark Kitrick. “He truly embodies what the Foundation’s distinguished Ramey Award exemplifies, which is recognition for humbly and unselfishly serving the community with the highest levels of integrity and professionalism. He is an amazing, dedicated, caring attorney. The Foundation is pleased to honor Jeff’s hard work with this year’s Award.”
Following his retirement at McDonald Hopkins in 2017, Pollock has remained at the firm as Senior of Counsel, focusing on civic matters, pro bono work, which is providing legal work at little to no cost, counseling, and litigation. Prior to his retirement, he represented public and private corporations and business professionals in all aspects of litigation in federal and state courts.
During his time at the firm, Pollock helped to create a partnership with Disability Rights Ohio, expanding a Medicaid Pro Bono Program that provides legal services to Ohio families and children with disabilities. He also established McDonald Hopkins’ monthly legal clinic at the Veterans Administration Community Resource and Referral Center in Cleveland.
“It’s attorneys like Jeff who inspire all lawyers to give back,” said OSBF Executive Director, Lori Keating. “His volunteer efforts are not limited to a single passion project – rather, his work has supported people with disabilities who navigate special health care needs, veterans who have fought for our country and now need legal counsel, and individuals with serious mental health issues trying to find their place in the world. Jeff works to make Cleveland a community where everyone can thrive, despite the challenges they may face.”
Pollock is an active member of his community and has served various organizations that focus on peoples’ mental health. He was on the board of Magnolia Clubhouse, which is a community-based center that provides people with mental illness opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, education, and access to medical and psychiatric services in a caring and safe environment. Currently, Pollock is a member of the board of directors for Disability Rights Ohio, whose mission is to advocate for the human, civil, and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio.
Pollock has a long history of volunteering with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. He is a member of the advisory committee for the organization’s ACT 2 initiative, a program that engages late career and retired attorneys. Pollock also works with attorneys on Legal Aid's litigation committee on the issue of right to counsel for indigent individuals in private adoption cases. In 2015, the organization highlighted Pollock’s hard work and dedication by awarding him the Cleveland Legal Aid’s Community Impact Award for his pro bono service to the veteran community.
To view the OSBF’s celebration video featuring
R. Jeffrey Pollock, visit OSBF.org/2020Awards.
About the Ohio State Bar Foundation
The Ohio State Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) grantmaking organization and is the largest bar foundation in the U.S. The OSBF works to advance the law and build a better justice system by awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants annually to nonprofit organizations across Ohio. For more information about the Foundation, or to donate to the organization, please visit OSBF.org. To download the Foundation’s media kit, visit OSBF.org/MediaKit.