Concluding a Chapter

Aurora Martin

In just a few days, John Midgley, CLS Advocacy Director of many years, will receive the Access to Justice Leadership Award honoring his 39 year career devoted to civil legal aid and equal justice. John will be officially retiring at the end of June, and we have been thanking him in little and big ways throughout the past few months—with a toast and flash mob at our annual Pro Bono Reception, a MVP baseball jersey, and a special thanks with the board. With each day that goes by, I realize how we really are turning a page to new chapter.

My deep gratitude to John is endless as a colleague, mentor, and friend.  But more important than my ode to John is the remarkable difference he has made to ensure that our program survives and thrives, and that the power of our advocacy reaches as far as it can to serve justice for clients.

John has served as staff attorney, managing attorney, advocacy coordinator, director, advocacy director, and representative plaintiff for CLS in Judd v AT&T, which exposed the exorbitant rates that phone companies charge when prisoners call their families and won millions of dollars back for Washington families who had received the calls. And now John has another role: he will be of counsel for a few more weeks.

When it comes to his career, John has done it all and we as advocates, friends, and a community are the better for it. There are not enough words for our gratitude.

Thank you for too much, John.