Law alumnus honored with social justice award


Attorney Farhad Sethna ’90 has been selected by the Catholic Commission of Summit County as the 2018 recipient of the Bishop William M. Cosgrove Justice Award. This honor is given to individuals or organizations that demonstrate a strong commitment to social justice in harmony with biblical values and seek to educate, raise awareness, or find solutions for problems with vulnerable populations. 

“Your work with immigrants and standing up for their rights is exactly the type of efforts the award seeks to recognize,” wrote Diane Zbasnik, director of the Diocesan Social Action Office at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, in a letter to Sethna congratulating him on the award.

As an immigrant himself, Sethna is keenly aware of the desire for a better life and opportunities that propelled him to emigrate to the United States in 1986 as a student from India. A full scholarship from The University of Akron gave him the opportunity to earn his law degree and MBA. He worked with a law firm for five years before starting his own law practice. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member at the School of Law.

Sethna’s firm deals in all areas of immigration law – from the initial entry to the U.S. in non-immigrant status, to immigration through employment, family and investor status, to Green Cards, and finally, the path to citizenship — naturalization.

A committed defender of human rights and due process, Sethna helps clients fleeing persecution file for asylum in the U.S. He keeps families together by defending clients who face deportation under immigration law, and he pieces together waivers to enable families who are separated in different nations to be reunited in the United States. 

Farhad offered “sincere thanks to the many who made this award possible; no man – or woman – is an island, and it is only by working together that we can achieve the impossible.” 

The award will be presented at the 40th Annual Bishop Cosgrove Justice Dinner and Silent Auction on Friday, Dec. 7, at The Tangier, 532 W. Market St., Akron.


Media contact: Lisa Craig, 330-972-7429 or

Farhad Sethna

Farhad Sethna