General assistance

The United Way's 2-1-1 service is an excellent one-stop information source for people facing a variety of problems. Visit the United Way for Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Dayton, or Cincinnati, or go to the site of another 211 Ohio Collaborative member (such as InfoLine for Akron residents).

Lawyer referrals

There are many resources available to you if you need a lawyer. Most local bar associations offer a referral service to match people with lawyers. Depending on where you live, contact the bar association for Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Toledo or Youngstown.
If you live in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Lorain counties, you can get help by attending a Brief Advice and Referral Clinic sponsored by The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland's Volunteer Lawyers Program. You can find more information and a link to upcoming clinics on the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland's website.
If you have a low income and need legal services, try Ohio Legal Help. The Office of the Ohio Public Defender represents people who are accused of a crime but cannot afford an attorney.


Civil rights infringements are handled by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Discrimination in the workplace can also be referred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which has offices in Cleveland and Cincinnati. If your rights have been infringed because of a disability, you may want to visit the website of the Ohio Legal Rights Service.


If you believe that your rights with respect to medical conditions in Ohio prisons have been violated, you may want to contact the Ohio Justice & Policy Center. The Correctional Institution Inspection Committee evaluates and inspects Ohio correctional institutions. The Office of the Chief Inspector monitors inmate concerns and problems. If you are in jail, you might want to consider contacting the Bureau of Adult Detention within the Division of Parole and Community Services. They assist local officials in compliance with jail standards.


The non-profit AIDS Resource Center Ohio provides assistance to people living in western and north-central Ohio.

Problems with businesses

The Better Business Bureau can help you if you have been treated unfairly by a business or charity.

Police brutality

Please submit police brutality complaints to the ACLU of Ohio following the instructions on the Need Legal Help? page. You may also submit a complaint to the appropriate police department. Information is available online for Toledo and Columbus. For incidents in Cincinnati, contact Cincinnati's Citizen Complaint Authority. A City of Cleveland Police Complaint Form is available.

Problems with judges

If a judge acts inappropriately while overseeing a case, individuals have the option of filing a complaint. Learn more about the process here.