September 27, 2013
Justice Kennedy Gives Keynote Address to Toledo Women's Bar Association

Justice Sharon L. Kennedy joined members of the Toledo Women’s Bar Association and others from the legal community on Friday, September 27 at the Toledo Club.

Justice Kennedy talked about the path that led her to the Ohio Supreme Court and her job as a justice. She said she came from humble beginnings, but her parents instilled in her the American Dream.

“My parents inspired in me to believe in a core fundamental value that you can be whatever you want to be so long as you decide and commit yourself to your dream, work hard, and have fortitude,” Justice Kennedy said.

Justice Kennedy was also influenced by a high school teacher who encouraged her to look beyond her dream of serving as a police officer to serving the public with a career in law.

“Serving as a law enforcement officer was a test of self.  It taught me to be a critical thinker of the law in real time; to make decisions quickly and decisively.  It also allowed me to see the real world of the justice system and the other professions within that system,” Justice Kennedy said.

Justice Kennedy said she considers herself to be the least likely person to serve as a justice, and as only the ninth woman to sit on the state’s highest court.

“Looking back, regardless of where you think you are going, be open to the opportunities that each new path provides.  Believe in the best of yourself and that you can achieve anything.  You never know where you will end up,” Justice Kennedy said.

Justice Kennedy is serving her first term on the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy served on the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division from 1999 to 2012. Justice Kennedy served as the administrative judge there from 2005 until December 2012. Justice Kennedy began her career in the justice system as a police officer in Hamilton, Ohio. She received her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.