Melissa Benson

Professional Biography

Melissa Benson joined the Housing Practice Group at the Legal Aid Society of Columbus in August of 2015 and has been the Housing Managing Attorney since May of 2020. She litigates cases protecting the rights of low-income tenants, including eviction prevention, maintaining housing subsidies, ensuring safe living conditions in rental housing, and the abatement of public nuisances in unsafe rental housing. Melissa was lead counsel in T&R Properties v. Wimberly, the Tenth District Court of Appeals case stopping the practice of eviction by affidavit in Franklin County. 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. Before obtaining her law degree from Case Western Reserve University in 2005, Melissa worked as a journalist in Cleveland, Ohio.

Bar Admissions

  • State of Ohio 2005
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio 2006
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio 2009

Activities and Bar Associations

  • Columbus Bar Association
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Ohio Housing Law Task Force, Co-Chair 2019-2020
  • Columbus Women’s Commission Eviction Working Group

Education

  • Ohio University (B.S.J 1999)
  • Indiana University (MA, pursued 1999-2001)
  • Case Western Reserve University (J.D. 2005)
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