Melissa Benson

Professional Biography

Melissa Benson joined the Housing Team at the Legal Aid Society of Columbus in August of 2015. She litigates cases protecting the rights of low-income tenants, including eviction prevention, maintaining housing subsidies, and ensuring safe living conditions in rental housing.  Melissa oversees a project focusing on abating nuisances in residential rental property, both occupied and vacant, to return rental units to habitability and increase the stock of safe, affordable housing in the region. Prior to joining LASC, Melissa worked for nearly ten years as an attorney in the Chillicothe office of LASC’s sister program, Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS), where her primary practice areas were housing, consumer protection, family and public benefits law. While at SEOLS, Melissa served as the co-director of the program’s foreclosure defense project. Before obtaining her law degree from Case Western Reserve University in 2005, Melissa worked as a journalist in Cleveland, Ohio.

Bar Admissions and Activities

  • Ohio Poverty Law Center Housing Task Force
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Member, Franklin County Bar Association
  • Bar admissions – Ohio (2005)
  • Bar admissions – U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio (2006)
  • Bar admissions – U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio (2009)

Volunteer and Community Activities

  • Ohio Neighborhood Preservation Association Board Member


  • Ohio University (B.S.J. 1999)
  • Indiana University (M.A. work 1999-2001)
  • Case Western Reserve University (J.D. 2005)


Melissa lives in Columbus with her husband and their two literary cats Bronte and Anais.

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