William C. Becker Lawyers Fund

In 2006, the Akron Bar Foundation established the William C. Becker Lawyers Fund to assist attorneys and members of their immediate families who, because of age, illness or other circumstances find themselves in financial distress.  The Fund, to the best of its ability, assists recipients by ensuring that they have access to adequate housing, food, and medical care.  Financial assistance may include grants, loans without interest or security, paying advances to immediate family, or after death, advancing money to the families, including the cost of burial.  The Fund is administered by the Foundation’s William C. Becker Lawyers Fund Committee, and they have a confidential application process in place.

If you need our assistance, or know someone who does, please contact the Akron Bar’s Executive Director.

 


William C. Becker (1929 – 2003)

“After his family, University of Akron School of Law Professor Emeritus Bill Becker loved his country, the legal profession, and teaching.  He was a generous and selfless man who put the interests of the community and others ahead of his own.  Professor Becker’s sense of duty, work ethic, and desire to give to the community were high and strong, as evidenced by his receipt of the Sir Thomas More Award in 2000, the Ohio State Bar Foundation Honorary Life Fellowship Award in 1999, and the United Way Person of the Year Award in 1983.

Following a career that encompassed service in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War; 20 years in the naval reserves; three years in private practice at the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey; 26 years with the BFGoodrich Company in the Law Department; and numerous volunteer activities, including bar counsel for the Akron Bar Association, vice chair of the State Bar Ethics Committee, and member of the Supreme Court of Ohio Task Force to consider revisions in the code of responsibility for the State of Ohio, Bill Becker embarked upon a second career, devoting his time, wisdom, and knowledge to law students at The University of Akron School of Law. Professor Becker taught Products Liability, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Lawyer as Negotiator classes; held the position of Associate Dean of Students; and served as chair of the School of Law Admissions Committee. He was best known, however, for his work in the field of ethics and professional responsibility.  He co-founded The Joseph G. Miller and William C. Becker Institute for Professional Responsibility and served as its first director.

Professor Becker loved the School of Law, and he loved the law students. The subject of legal ethics and professional responsibility was a ‘big deal’ to Professor Becker.  His simple and direct telephone greeting of ‘Becker!’ or ‘Becker, here!’ mirrored the way in which he considered, analyzed, and discussed issues of importance. Perhaps because his own education was interrupted by the War, Professor Becker had a special concern for evening law students and others who followed a non-traditional path to law school” (The University of Akron, 2018).

 


Apr. 7, 2020 - Assistance For Akron Bar Members During The COVID-19 Pandemic

In 2006, the Akron Bar Foundation established the William C. Becker Lawyers Fund to assist attorneys and members of their immediate families who, because of age, illness or other circumstances find themselves in financial distress.  The Fund, to the best of its ability, assists recipients by ensuring that they have access to adequate housing, food, and medical care.  Financial assistance may include grants, loans without interest or security, paying advances to immediate family, or after death, advancing money to the families, including the cost of burial.  

This extraordinary time provides the William C. Becker Fund Committee (Committee) another opportunity to support the Akron legal community. This week the Committee created a micro-grant program in the form of grocery store gift cards.  Members facing a crisis should contact the Committee Chair, Irv Sugerman at ibsugerman@brouse.com or (330) 606-4336, to confidentially request assistance. Once the request is approved, the Committee will send a gift card to the member. The micro-grant program will last until the funds are depleted. Recipients will only be permitted one gift card.

Members who would like to assist their colleagues during this time may make a tax-deductible donation to the Akron Bar Foundation Becker Fund here: https://www.akronbar.org/?pg=DonationFunds. Any donations received will be added to the micro-grant program.

Lastly, the Committee is donating $5,000 to the newly created Akron Law Student Assistance Fund to help the University of Akron’s law students in crisis. Professor Becker was a dedicated University of Akron School of Law professor and this donation helps memorialize his desire to help.

We are in unchartered territory and are trying to help preserve the Akron legal community. We hope this small step will work toward that end. Stay safe and healthy!

Bernard A. Rochford, President Karen D. Adinolfi, President Irving B. Sugerman, Chair
Akron Bar Foundation   Akron Bar Association William C. Becker Fund Committee

 


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