Irene Makridis has been a volunteer with Community Legal Aid for several years, volunteering to help those overwhelmed by debt get a fresh start in life through bankruptcy.
Irene came to Legal Aid at one of our open houses and offered to take up to three cases per month pro bono. This was a huge blessing because we don't have a large pool of volunteers who are willing to take bankruptcy cases in this area. Last year alone, she helped our clients relieve over $100,000 worth of debt.
In preparation for today, we contacted one of her clients from last year. This client is a single mom to three kids who fell behind on her bills due to medical complications following the birth of one of her children.
I'd like to share with you what she had to say about Irene:
"She was very caring and got to know me. I didn't feel like I was just another client." She went out of her way to work with the client's schedule, even meeting at 7:00 in the evening so she could drop off paperwork at a time that accommodated her family and work schedule. The bankruptcy has transformed her life by significantly reducing her stress levels, improving her health, and giving her the footing and confidence she needs to rebuild.
Attorney Irene Makridis receiving her award from Fern Reynolds-Gordon.
Irene has been in practice for over 30 years. She started as a criminal defense attorney with the Trumbull County Public Defender's Office, where she defended the rights of people charged with serious felony offenses. Since then, she has focused her career on social security disability, personal injury, wrongful termination, divorce/dissolution, wills and trusts, and, as we already heard, bankruptcy. Irene received her law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law and her bachelor's degree from Youngstown State University.
Irene, on behalf of Community Legal Aid, I'd like to thank you for donating your time and talents to help those in need in our community. You are an example for us all for what pro bono is all about.