Foundation grantees The Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC), Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS), and the Ohio State Legal Services Association (OSLSA) have merged to form the nonprofit Legal Aid of Southeast and Central Ohio. While the nonprofit has a new name and logo, it will maintain its outstanding track record of providing high-quality legal services to low-income Ohioans in 36 Ohio counties.

“This organizational change will allow us to better serve clients by improving our ability to recruit staff and pro bono attorneys, expanding development opportunities, and increasing efficiencies,” said Kate McGarvey, executive director.

The merger is not entirely unexpected as OSLSA and LASC first affiliated 16 years ago and began sharing an executive director. Since 2022, the nonprofits have been working through a combined needs assessment and strategic planning process. An Organizational Excellence Committee formed in 2023 further confirmed that a full merger was in the best interest of both clients and partners.

“We are excited to begin this new chapter in our history,” McGarvey said. “We’re stepping into the new year as Legal Aid of Southeast and Central Ohio and looking forward to a bright future.”

The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation is the largest funder of civil legal services in Ohio. A gift to the Foundation supports legal aid’s work.