Robert M. Clyde, Jr.
Bob Clyde has served as the executive director of the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation since its inception. A 1971 graduate of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Bob was a staff attorney with, and for 12 years the executive director of Northeast Ohio Legal Services in Youngstown. Following his 18-year career with this legal aid provider, in 1990, he joined the Ohio Public Defender as director of its civil legal services program. While employed by the Public Defender, Bob helped establish the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation and became its first executive director in July 1994.
Bob Clyde's legacy is as a passionate leader in the legal aid community who has tirelessly worked to ensure that those unable to help themselves can gain access to justice. His continuous efforts to improve the legal aid system have earned him great respect throughout the state of Ohio and across the nation. Bob recently transitioned to part-time status with OLAF as Senior Counsel and Director of Government Relations. It is anticipated that Bob will remain connected to OLAF thereafter, depending on the status of the various policy-related initiatives on which he will be working.
Bob's professional highlights with the Foundation include creating a statutorily mandated IOLTA and IOTA program and a legal aid filing fee surcharge, which has provided nearly $330 million in support legal aid; leading state- and nationally-recognized pro bono and technology initiatives. His professional affiliations include membership in the Columbus, Ohio and American Bar Associations. He has been active in, and is a recent past president of the national trade association of state legal services funding organizations. Other memberships include the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio
Community affiliations have included service on the board of Friends of the Homeless in Columbus. He is especially proud of pro bono assistance directly to the shelter and, as a participant in the Columbus Bar Association's homeless shelter pro bono program, to Friends' clients. He has also served on the boards of domestic violence shelters and a Planned Parenthood program.
Bob has made Columbus his home since 1991, and now lives with his fiance, Susan Russo, near Youngstown. He has two children, a son Erin, and a daughter Kathleen. Erin, a theater major and Hiram College graduate, also undertook a graduate program in media studies in New York. He now lives and works in the Greater NY City area. Katie graduated from Connecticut's Wesleyan University with a degree in English in 2001 and now works for the Ohio House of Representatives.