On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

June 26, 2012
First Law and Leadership Institute Graduates Recognized

Members of the first graduating class of the Law and Leadership Institute pose for a group photo during a recent reception for graduates and their families at the historic Ohio Statehouse.The Law and Leadership Institute, LLC (LLI) introduced its first 20 graduates from Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton at a reception of more than 100 guests, graduates and their families in the Atrium of the historic Ohio Statehouse on June 14.

LLI began at law schools in Columbus and Cleveland in 2008 to provide an opportunity for a diverse group of students from underserved schools in six Ohio cities (Akron, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo began in 2009) to learn skills that may help them become lawyers or leaders in their communities.  The program enriches high school instruction through a four-year academic program in law, leadership, analytical thinking, problem solving, writing skills and professionalism.

In his keynote remarks, Judge Algenon Marbley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio challenged the graduates as they enroll in college to show discipline, embrace sweat equity, set and pursue goals relentlessly, and to distinguish themselves.

Judge Marbley also urged them to do justice.  “We have made significant strides in making this a just society, but there is work to be done,” he said. “It will be your responsibility to make the laws on the books a reality, and to ensure that the rule of law prevails.”

Each graduate – 12 from Cleveland, six from Columbus and two from Dayton – received a blue LLI graduation stole as they were recognized for successfully completing the rigorous academic program.  These high school graduates were accepted to public and private colleges in Ohio, as well as to Georgetown, Harvard and the University of Illinois, among others. 

LLI student Jessica Fite, a 2012 graduate of Columbus’ Brookhaven High School and incoming freshman at Otterbein University in the fall, also spoke at the event.  “To me this program is more than the academics; it’s about the commitment to being who you are,” she said.

She also summarized her lasting impression: “If this program has taught me and my classmates anything, it is to be the leaders that we were born to be.”

In collaboration with the Ohio Supreme Court and the Ohio State Bar Association, LLI began as a summer pilot program for 40 students and evolved into a year-round program serving nearly 400 students. LLI currently operates on eight of Ohio’s nine law school campuses in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.

The Law and Leadership Institute, LLC is made possible, in part, by grants from the Ohio State Bar Foundation, the Law School Admission Council, and other public and private donors. It is through these generous donations and volunteer support from the legal and education communities that the vision of the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and former Ohio Attorney General Nancy Rogers is being realized.

For a high-resolution, print-quality photo of members of the first Law and Leadership Institute graduating class, visit: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/PIO/news/2012/LLIGrads.zip.

Contact: Hope Sharett, LLI executive director, at 614.485.3504