CH resident receives state award
Cleveland Heights resident Alexandria Ruden, a senior attorney at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (Legal Aid), is the 2020 recipient of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s Robert Denton Special Achievement Award. The award honors an individual “selflessly dedicated to increasing victim’s rights.”
Ruden has personally helped more than 5,000 survivors of domestic violence in her 40 years of practicing law. She began her legal career at the Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland in 1980. In 1984, she joined Legal Aid, where she began its domestic violence practice. At Legal Aid, Ruden helps survivors of domestic violence obtain and improve their safety through representation in Civil Protection Orders (CPO), divorces, and child custody cases.
Ruden’s career achievements have influenced laws, policies, procedures and entire systems, impacting countless lives. She envisioned, helped design, and implemented the Domestic Violence Department at Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court. Through this department, survivors have the support of domestic violence advocates who help them prepare the CPO petition, guide them through the court process, and assist them in safety planning. Ruden’s service on statewide boards and committees has also resulted in increased and improved services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Ruden also mentors attorneys, law students, and advocates in the community, and is a resource to legislators who request insight into the statutory schema on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Law students have been motivated to practice in the area of domestic violence after having spent one semester working with Ruden. She has co-authored editions of Ohio Domestic Violence Law since 1998, and continues to expand her knowledge by monitoring trends and developments in case law.
Danilo Powell-Lima is the development and communications associate at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.