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What We Do

OPLC advocates for policies aimed at reducing poverty and increasing access to opportunities and justice for all Ohioans.  OPLC also provides assistance to and collaborates with the Ohio legal aid community as the legal services state support center for Ohio.  OPLC attorneys are experienced poverty law advocates who work to address pressing issues facing low-income Ohioans.


Is OPLC hiring? 

The Ohio Poverty Law Center is seeking a Director.  The Center, a nonprofit advocacy organization, advocates for policies aimed at reducing poverty and increasing access to opportunities and justice for all Ohioans. The Center is overseen by the Ohio State Legal Services Association, as are the Legal Aid Society of Columbus and Southeastern Ohio Legal Services.  The entire organization is committed to aggressive advocacy for low-income Ohioans through the courts, legislative and administrative bodies, media, and others.  The Center supports and works collaboratively with Ohio’s legal aid programs.

The Center needs a visionary leader who can continue to expand the Center’s affirmative legislative and administrative advocacy efforts and enhance the positive brand of the Center.  The Director will be expected to both lead and participate directly in these advocacy efforts, including establishing relationships with elected and appointed government officials.  The Director will also be accountable for relationship and fund development for the Center’s work, with the assistance of an experienced director of development.  The Center has a solid funding base from the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, but needs to continue to diversify and expand its funding to allow it to grow to meet the many challenges facing those who depend on its work.

A law degree is definitely preferred, but non-attorneys will be considered if they bring a strong background in the type of work done by the Center, especially in the area of legislative advocacy.   Legislative experience is strongly desired for attorneys as well.  Candidates must have demonstrated leadership, management, and advocacy experience, preferably in support of the rights of low-income people.    Experience in strategic planning for use of resources and in development of resources is also preferred.

Salary DOE, competitive with similar positions in Ohio.  Generous benefits. EOE.

To apply:  Send resume with details as to how your background and experience address the qualifications outlined above to  Position open until November 13 or until filled.

Can I volunteer at OPLC?

We welcome volunteer law students and attorneys.  We accept law clerks each summer, usually posting a hiring notice in November.  Although OPLC cannot pay law students a salary, we are happy to support applications for public interest law fellowships and other paid internships.

Attorneys who are interested in volunteering should contact Janet Hales or Patrick Higgins for more information.

How can I contact OPLC?

You can contact OPLC by phone at (614) 221-7201 or (800) 589-5888.  You can email us at

Can I donate to OPLC?

We would be honored to accept your donation.  OPLC is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) that is wholly owned by Ohio State Legal Services Association, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Your donation is tax deductible.   Click here or on the Donate button above to donate today!

What is the difference between OPLC and a local legal aid office?

Most legal aid offices provide civil legal assistance and representation to low-income individuals and families in the office’s service area (usually one or more counties).  You can find the legal aid office that serves your area by clicking here.

OPLC advocates for policies in Ohio’s legislature and administrative agencies on behalf of low-income Ohioans on a full-time basis and does not represent people in cases.

Is there a difference between “legal services” and “legal aid”?

When we use the terms “legal services” and “legal aid” on this website, we use them interchangeably, to describe Ohio’s non-profit legal aid offices provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals and families.  Be careful, though, because some for-profit law firms call themselves “legal aid” or “legal services” to confuse the public.

Does OPLC handle cases for individuals?

No.  OPLC does not accept inquiries or consider cases brought to us by the public.  If you need legal assistance, please contact your local legal aid office to apply for help.

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