October 20, 2011
Ron Blubaugh, ’75, received a major award on Sept. 16, 2011, at the State Bar of California’s 84th Annual Meeting in Long Beach. A retired state administrative law judge, he received the 2011 President’s Pro Bono Service Award for providing Sacramento-area homeless with free legal services. Blubaugh was one of only five individuals statewide to earn the honor while four law firms were cited.
“The recipients of the State Bar’s 2011 President’s Pro Bono Service Awards represent the very best of our legal profession,” said former State Bar President Bill Hebert. “When we look in our professional mirror, these are the men and women we want to see in our reflection.”
After retiring from the Public Employment Relations Board as chief administrative law judge a decade ago, Blubaugh joined the bar’s Emeritus Attorney Pro Bono Program, which is now known as the Pro Bono Practice Program.
Blubaugh works with many homeless people each week at the Tommy Clinkenbeard Legal Clinic, named for the late Class of 1983 alumnus, a Sacramento County deputy public defender who championed the rights of homeless people, prison inmates and others on the margins of life. The agency is underwritten by Legal Services of Northern California.
Thanks to attorney volunteers like Blubaugh who help prepare clients for court appearances, the Loaves and Fishes operation has been a success. Increased homeless participation in the clinic/court has saved the regular courts, law enforcement, and prosecutors some of the costs associated with tracking down the homeless with warrants, serving them, housing them in jail, and processing paperwork required for in-custody arraignments and transportation.
A familiar face at McGeorge, Blubaugh has made annual gifts to the law school for the past 35 years and is a long-time member of the Dean’s Council donor group. He is also the representative for the Charles D. Driscoll Endowed Scholarship, which is awarded annually at McGeorge.