Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.


OUR MISSION: 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.

Using both litigation and advocacy, ABLE handles civil (non-criminal) legal matters that promote systemic change on behalf of individuals and groups of low-income people in the areas of civil rights and poverty law. Much of our work seeks to change policy, laws, and regulations at local and state levels.

ABLE programs and advocates provide specialized legal assistance, including representation on behalf of those who are discriminated against, advocacy for the disabled, advocacy for nursing home and long-term care facility residents, litigation in public policy cases, and outreach and education to low-income people and community organizations serving the poor or areas that coincide with the law firms legal priorities.

ABLE serves 32 counties of western Ohio from its offices in Dayton, Defiance, and Toledo. Attorneys and advocate staff work with legal problems that affect large groups of low-income people. Successful case outcomes bring about permanent changes in services, systems and institutions that ultimately benefit hundreds or even thousands of individuals and families.

Visit these links to learn more about the specific programs at ABLE:


2015-2016 ABLE Advocacy Impact Report

As a poverty law firm, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) engages in impactful, broad-based advocacy designed to carry out our mission of assisting clients and communities achieve self-reliance, economic opportunity and equal justice under the law. Our advocates utilize a wide range of advocacy tools, including litigation, community lawyering and legislative and administrative advocacy in order to combat complex forces of economic and racial injustice. We engage in advocacy that seeks to uncover deepseated, institutionalized practices that unfairly burden families struggling in poverty and disproportionately impact communities of color. And we encourage close collaboration with community partners as we strive to support the empowerment and independence of the communities we serve.

Our 2015-2016 Advocacy Impact Report reflects these efforts in our primary practice areas and special projects and demonstrates the dedication and commitment of our advocates. Through the Housing and Community Economic Development Practice Group, ABLE strives to ensure that low-income individuals and families have access to safe, affordable housing, including the freedom and choice to access areas of opportunity and be connected with education, healthcare, employment and other critical needs to improve the quality of life. ABLE also works closely with groups focusing on economic development activities to ensure that low-income individuals have the ability to participate in and benefit from development within their own communities. In the Meaningful and Appropriate Education Practice Group, ABLE focuses on the disparities in the quality of education for children in poverty, particularly African American and Latino children, who are often are served by schools that do not meet their needs and too often treat low-income children and their struggles as criminal matters instead of as educational needs. Recognizing that access to quality healthcare and public benefits is critical for families struggling in poverty, the Healthcare and Public Benefits Practice Group focuses on access to short-term or long-term benefits as a critical role in creating opportunities for families to improve their quality of life and in many cases achieve self-sufficiency. ABLE's advocacy also seeks to reduce health disparities in low-income and minority communities and advocates for participation in public benefits programs and services in the least restrictive environment. And through the work of the Agricultural Worker and Immigrant Rights Practice Group, ABLE works with vulnerable workers who are often subjected to systemic exploitation and civil rights abuses and also provides representation in immigration cases where the goal is to preserve or obtain lawful status.

We believe that equal justice is achievable and we will continue our efforts—working together with clients and our community partners—to make it a reality.

Aneel L. Chablani
Director of Advocacy