Ohio Poverty Law Center (OPLC) is part of the Ohio State Legal Services Association (OSLSA), a three-part legal aid program headquartered in Columbus. OPLC’s mission is to reduce poverty and increase justice by protecting and expanding the legal rights of Ohioans living, working and raising their families in poverty.
OPLC is actively seeking a dedicated, professional Policy Advocate to advocate for legislative and administrative policies that protect and expand the legal rights of low-income Ohioans and focus on increasing access to health care, stabilizing families, and expanding justice and opportunity.
In this role, you will be responsible for engaging with legislative, administrative, and executive governmental staff in a positive and solutions-oriented manner to advance OPLC’s strategic goals. Advocacy with OPLC includes traditional activities such as lobbying and public education as well as capacity building, relationship building, forming networks and leadership development.
Are You Someone Who:
- Is dedicated to improving the lives of low-income individuals in our communities?
- Enjoys helping people triumph over adversity?
- Gets excited to puzzle out strategies to move policy through complex political environments?
- Works to advance social justice issues for marginalized communities?
- Has a willingness to advocate even when faced with roadblocks?
- Is motivated, professional and thrives within a collaborative, team-driven environment?
- Believes successful resolution can be reached beyond traditional methods?
- Is interested in developing a wide range of skills and experiences?
- Handle all functions related to legal policy advocacy and advancing the policy priorities and goals of the Ohio Poverty Law Center
- Participate and collaborate with staff and community partners in the development and implementation of policy priorities and strategies
- Cultivate and build strong relationships with key policymakers and influencers in Ohio on a local, state-wide and national level
- Facilitate the involvement of grassroots leaders, Legal Aid attorneys and clients, community members and others in communicating with their elected officials and other relevant decision makers
- Participate in outreach activities, clinics and other community events
- Collaborate with legal services attorneys on statewide advocacy
- Promote community relations and build community relationships by engaging with the public and partner service providers
- Have the opportunity to participate in excellent on-going professional development including CLE-approved trainings on substantive poverty law and advocacy skills among others
- Be a part of a community of collaborative and mission driven professionals
- Strong advocacy skills
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- Strong knowledge of legislative and other policy processes
- Understanding of and commitment to social change through building the capacity and power of marginalized people to change their communities and to participate directly in changing public policies
- Demonstrated commitment to OPLC’s mission and ability to work constructively with grassroots partners
- Advocacy, consensus-building, coalition-building, and leadership skills and demonstrated ability to work with groups and individuals across the political spectrum.
- Ability to build relationships with relevant policy partners such as government, policy shops, academic institutions, among others
- Experience analyzing and interpreting legislative and regulatory language
- Ability to facilitate meetings, trainings, and group gatherings that move people to action
- Ability to manage multiple priorities in a dynamic environment
- High ability to exercise sound judgement and discretion
- High ability to facilitate collaboration as well as build and sustain productive relationships with diverse individuals, groups and organizations
- Excellent communication skills, both orally and written, with diverse audiences
- A commitment to diversity and inclusion both internally and externally
- Strong work ethic
- Proficiency in Microsoft applications, knowledge of current technologies and commitment to remain up to date with industry best practices
- English language proficiency is essential and Spanish/English bilingual skills are a plus. Additional languages – even better
- Bachelor’s degree required. Juris Doctor from an accredited law school is a plus
- Prior Legal Aid or related work experience a plus, but not required
- It is the policy of OSLSA not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, disability, age, ancestry, and military status or any other characteristic protected by law.
- The position reports to the Ohio Poverty Law Center Director and the opportunity is based in Columbus, Ohio. This role requires some travel throughout Ohio.
- Salary begins at $53,000 DOE. OSLSA offers an excellent comprehensive benefits package, LRAP of up to $6,000, and ongoing training and development opportunities.
Submit resume, writing sample, references and letter of interest.
In your letter, please address the following in order for your application to be considered: OSLSA’s clientele is diverse, and all of our clients are low income. To ensure that our program is best serving our communities, OSLSA strives to promote an evolving set of behaviors and attitudes amongst our staff, as well as policies that enable us to work effectively in all cross-cultural situations, with clients, with our coworkers, and with the community. We see this as a commitment to enhance the provision of our services to all clients; to raise the level of positive client outcomes; and to create an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued.
How do you think your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have prepared you to contribute to our commitment to cultural humility and diversity amongst our staff? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences.
To promote social justice and best serve our clients, OSLSA is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and providing culturally competent services. We strongly encourage candidates from traditionally underrepresented communities and historically oppressed groups including BIPOC and LGBTQ individuals to apply. Bilingual/bicultural candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.