Legal Aid Society of Columbus


Organized in 1954. Nonprofit organization receiving funding from the Legal Services Corporation and locally from the United Way of Central Ohio.
Organization website

Primary geographic focus: Ohio
Organization type(s): Provider

The lone attorney and secretary who staffed the Legal Aid Society at the beginning could hardly have imagined the challenges and demands of serving the complex community that Columbus and central Ohio have become today. Over the last 50 years, the population of the area that the agency serves has grown from 500,000 to 1.3 million, and the diversity of the area has changed dramatically.

Serving a growing non-English speaking population is a new challenge. The Society serves a financially eligible population of 183,000. It would need 36.6 attorneys to meet the “minimum access” goal established by the Legal Services Corporation 25 years ago. One of the most difficult and painful tasks the staff performs daily is turning away low-income people with serious legal problems.



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News Story

Ohio fees for debt collection questioned

Ben Sutherly
Columbus Dispatch
September 27, 2015
Consumers are being charged excessive fees — fees intended to cover the debt-collection costs of government hired special counsel advocates say.

News Story

Eldery tenants evicted from Near East Side apartments without explanation

Encarnacion Pyle
Columbus Dispatch
January 22, 2016
The owner of the Bryden House apartmentson Columbus' Near East Side is ending the leases of a number of elderly, low-income tenants, leaving many wondering why.

News Story

Advocates worry seniors being pushed out of affordable housing

Mark Ferenchik
Columbus Dispatch
March 5, 2016
Some say it's not fair for the housing authority or other building owners to push out seniors to attract residents who can afford to pay more.

News Story

Ohio sued over student-loan collection fees

Mary Mogan Edwards
Columbus Dispatch
August 16, 2016
Bill collectors and law firms working for the Ohio attorney general’s office are tacking unreasonably high charges onto the amounts they try to collect from people with long-overdue student loans, according to lawsuits filed by the Legal Aid Society of Columbus.

News Story

Veterans issues: Stand Down offers legal aid that can help vets land jobs, homes

Holly Zachariah
Columbus Dispatch
October 15, 2016
It all helps eliminate barriers to jobs and housing.

News Story

Program to help tenants navigate eviction process

Rita Price
Columbus Dispatch
January 13, 2017
A new tenant-advocacy program soon will operate inside Franklin County Municipal Court, where a high number of filings make for the state's busiest eviction docket.

News Story

At busy eviction court, people look for second chance

Rita Price
Columbus Dispatch
March 20, 2017
Court officials, legal-aid attorneys and mediators encourage landlords and tenants to talk, to strive for compromise.

News Story

Group Tries to Stop State From Terminating Medicaid Benefits

Catherine Candisky
Columbus Dispatch
March 31, 2015
The Legal Aid Society of Columbus files a federal suit to stop the state from terminating Medicaid benefits.

News Story

Hospital aid policies can’t rule out medical bills

Ben Sutherly
Columbus Dispatch
January 25, 2015
When nonprofit hospitals contract with for-profit physician practices to provide inpatient services, needy patients may not get financial help. (Featuring Legal Aid Society of Columbus)

Feature , Video

Ohio Woman Kicked Off Welfare for Not Reporting She Was In a Coma

Seth Freed Wessler
NBC News
December 5, 2014
The Legal Aid Society of Columbus successfully helped a woman appeal her loss of benefits for not attending class while in a coma, but many others were pushed off.



This page last modified: Mon, May 4, 2015 -- 5:37 pm ET