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Daily Court Reporter - News New executive director announced for ABLE


New executive director announced for ABLE

The Board of Trustees for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is pleased to announce that Janet E. Hales has been selected as the new executive director, following the retirement of long-time executive director Joseph Tafelski. Hales most recently served as the executive director of the Ohio Poverty Law Center in Columbus (OLPC), a position she has held since April 2015.

Hales officially began her position with ABLE on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. She is charged with providing ABLE with ongoing guidance and success as one of the premier legal services law firms in the country. ABLE is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal services to low-income residents in 32 counties of northwest and west central Ohio and to agricultural workers and immigration clients throughout Ohio.

"Janet brings a wealth of experience to the position," says outgoing director Tafelski. "She knows the communities we serve and our clients. Her experience as a private attorney, coupled with her hands-on experience as director of the Ohio Poverty Law Center and other areas of poverty law confirms her commitment social justice. I feel great about leaving the future of ABLE and our work under Janet’s leadership."

A national search to replace Tafelski was conducted by the ABLE Board of Trustees. Hales was chosen by a selection committee comprised of board members, staff, and community partners.

"I am excited about this opportunity to continue the work of ABLE in ensuring access to justice and opportunity for those who face injustice and poverty,” says Hales. “I especially look forward to working with the talented and deeply committed Boards and staff members of ABLE and LAWO,” she adds.

Hales is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, earned her law degree from The University of Toledo College of Law, and practiced with the Toledo firms of Cooper, Walinski & Cramer, LPA, and Eastman & Smith Ltd. before joining Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO). She left LAWO when she was named Director of OPLC.

Hales is admitted to the bar in Ohio and Michigan and is licensed to practice law in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court, Eastern District in Michigan and U.S. District Court, Northern District in Ohio. She has been active in the Toledo Bar Association serving on its Ethics and Judicial Candidates Committee, and is a past chair of its Pro Bono Advisory Board. Currently, she serves on the Legal Impact Network Communications Committee of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Chicago and is an Advisory Board member of Move to Prosper, Columbus.

About ABLE

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.

Date Published: December 11, 2017


Advocates for Basic Legal Equality


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