CEO Q&A: Legal services chief has always fought for poor

The Ohio State Legal Services Association didn’t have to look far for new leadership when its long-time director Thomas Weeks decided to retire this year. The  association tapped Kate McGarvey, 40, who has spent most of her working life at the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, one of three organizations the association oversees. OSLSA Executive Director Kate McGarvey

Described by one mentor as a quiet but fierce leader who’s adept at collaborating with others, McGarvey takes over the association at a time when many stalwart staffers are retiring and the legal needs of low-income Ohioans continue to grow. Recently, McGarvey talked with Columbus CEO about her new position.

Q: What is the Ohio State Legal Services Association?

A: It’s the umbrella organization over three separate entities: the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, which provides civil legal services to low-income individuals in six counties in central Ohio; Southeastern Ohio Legal Services, which provides direct civil legal services to local folks in southeastern Ohio in 30 counties; and the Ohio Poverty Law Center, which focuses on legislative and administrative advocacy on behalf of low-income individuals.

 

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