The University trustees pass a resolution directing the president to appoint a committee to secure the teaching services of local judges or lawyers, free of charge. Peter M. Clark, the only African-American member to serve on the board until 1969, offered the resolution. It took until 1891 for classes to start.
Two apprentice lawyers—F.P. Jackson and C.W. Voorhees—organize a study group on real estate law. They form the Law Students Club with 18 other apprentice clerks, and the group quickly grew to 40. With a $6 per student charge, they hire a lawyer to teach real estate law.
A Lantern article encourages the establishment of a law school, and states a number of local practitioners are willing to teach. It estimates that total costs would be about $10,000 a year. The Board of Trustees agrees to the budget, and states salaries will come from student fees.
Under the leadership of the first dean, the Honorable Marshall J. Williams, a Supreme Court of Ohio justice, classes are first held on Oct. 1, 1891 in the Franklin County Courthouse. The first class is comprised of 33 students, including one woman.
The nucleus of the law library is started by a gift from Mrs. Noble, widow of the Honorable Henry C. Noble.
11 students graduate in the class of 1892.
The law department is struggling financially and there is discussion of closing. Ohio State Board Chairman Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the U.S., pledges $300 of his own funds to keep it afloat. There is debate on whether this gift was ever received.
Classes are moved to Hayes Hall on campus. They later move to Orton Hall.
Emerson McMillin donates $3,000 for the law library.
At least two years of college are now required for admission. From 1891-1895, only a high school diploma was necessary.
The law school program is expanded to three years. This is very controversial because many schools—including the University of Cincinnati, University of Michigan, and “eastern schools”—remain at two years for quite some time. There is great concern this move will hurt enrollment.
The law department becomes the College of Law.
Ohio State becomes a charter member of the American Association of Law Schools.
Classes are moved to the newly built Page Hall, named for Henry Folsom Page, a Circleville lawyer, who donated the funds to build the now iconic structure. This gift is considered the start of The Ohio State University endowment. Over the years, approximately 2,500 alumni studied in Page Hall.
Moot court participation for credit is introduced.
The Arts-Law program is established with the College of Arts, Philosophy and Science. It is a six-year program that combines a B.A. and law degree. It stays in existence until 1960.
The J.D. program is established. It is for students who have a non-professional baccalaureate degree. The first four J.D. students graduate in 1912.
The law class football team.
Elective courses are added to the second and third year curriculum. This is a novel idea and a trend Ohio State leads for the next 50 years.
An Order of the Coif chapter is started. Ohio State is the 15th school to join.
World War I takes a toll on enrollment. In the fall of 1917, only two students apply for admission. Operations are suspended until the fall of 1918 for lack of students.
The College expands its offerings for the benefit of returning veterans.
The College receives American Bar Association approval.
A Commerce-Law program is started with the College of Commerce and Journalism.
Hershcel W. Arant becomes dean, serving until 1939. He founds the League of Ohio Law Schools (1934) and serves as president of AALS in 1938. He later leaves Ohio State to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (appointed by Franklin Roosevelt).
Dean Herschel Arant publishes ALI RESTATEMENT OF THE LAW OF CONTRACTS AND HANDBOOK OF THE LAW OF SURETYSHIP AND GUARANTY.
The faculty approves student self-governance of the Honor Code, which is one of the first in the country.
The Student Bar Association is founded.
The first clinic begins. It is founded by Julius Schlezinger ’35 and is quickly taken over by Professor Harris. The Legal Aid Clinic is a joint effort with the Columbus Barrister’s Club, Columbus Family Bureau, and SBA.
The Ohio State Law Journal is founded. There were three previous attempts to start a journal (1911, 1919, 1929). It was founded by the newly formed SBA.
The first intraschool, student-sponsored moot court competition is held.
Professor Norman Lattin publishes CASES AND MATERIALS ON THE LAW OF CORPORATIONS. He published two more corporate law case books in the 1950s. THE LATTIN ON CORPORATIONS series is later printed.
Professor Alonzo Tuttle leaves the College a $5,000 gift “for costs not cared for by the university budget.” This is considered the start of the college’s endowment.
Class sizes drop dramatically during WWII and OSLJ suspends publication. The majority of faculty also deploy in some capacity (only four remain in Columbus during the war and likely serve on the draft board or in another capacity).
Professor Ervin H. Pollack becomes head of the law library. There are 55,000 volumes.
A symposium, Developments in Legal Education, is organized by the law school. It drastically changes course offerings. A 1957 ABA inspection report says: “no other school offers a superior bank of electives.”
The College begins offering CLE classes to practitioners. Ohio State is a leader in this field.
The campaign for the new building starts. It is intense, well organized, and massive. First, $750,000 is allocated from the state to build the “classroom” side of the building, the section toward 11th Ave. and High St. Dean Frank Strong organizes an elaborate effort to raise another $1.5 million to build the remainder of the building. There is intense lobbying of government officials, but efforts fail. A massive fundraising campaign is created to make-up for the shortfall.
A formal relationship is established with the Ohio State Bar Association to create the Ohio Legal Center Institute, dedicated to research and education of practitioners. This program is described as “novel, with no rival in the state or nationally.” By 1968, more than 2,723 lawyers attended.
The new building opens. The grand opening is an elaborate celebration that lasts three days. Supreme Court Justices Potter Stewart and Earl Warren attend. Law deans from around the U.S. come. The building is hailed a modern marvel. It has air-conditioning.
Ohio State Law named Moot court national champions.
National Council is founded.
The last required course is moved to the first year. After this, almost all of the second and third years are elective. By contrast, in 1950, all of the first and second years, and most of the third, were required courses (only nine of 130 credit hours needed to graduate were elective). The change is the result of the 1949 OSLJ article and symposium.
Moot court national champions again.
Professor Larry Herman publishes The Supreme Court and Restrictions on Police Interrogation, which is relied on heavily by the Supreme Court in its Miranda v. Arizona decision.
The College’s first financial aid program begins.
The clinic name changes from Legal Aid Clinic to Legal Clinic, with a more rigorous selection of cases.
Hon. Warren E. Burger, chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, speaks at the annual banquet.
Hon. Abe Fortas, justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, receives an honorary degree as part of the College’s 75th anniversary celebration.
Professor Pollack grows the law library to over 270,000 volumes, quintupling the collection in 22 years. The law library is ranked in the top six nationally.
The Civil Clinic files suit against Columbus Police Department for its treatment of “street people.
The College introduces clinic courses to curriculum, co-taught by tenured track faculty and staff attorneys. The civil, criminal, and juvenile law clinics are founded.
The university is closed multiple times in May of 1970 for civil disturbances. Nearly every window in the law school is broken on May 21 during riots in the area of 11th Ave. and High Street. Students James Oliphant ’71, SBA president, and Miles Durfey ’70, senior class president, are credited with saving the building from being burned to the ground. The pair organized security for the building, including approximately 20 students and 10 faculty, and used twoway radios from the roof to anticipate the activities of rioters. Their efforts are recognized by the National Council and Board of Trustees.
Moot Court members Gary D. Greenwald ’71 and Grady L. Pettigrew, Jr. ’71 won the national championship, best oral argument, and best brief, which had never been done before.
The Black American Law Students Association is chartered at Ohio State.
Professor Merton C. Bernstein publishes the article Title VII and the Problem of Sex Classifications in Pension Programs (74 Columbia L. Rev. 1203), arguing that under Title VII pension plans must pay women the same benefits as men for the same contribution levels, a practice that was not in place at the time.
Professor Michael J. Perry published The Disproportionate Impact Theory of Racial Discrimination (125 U. Penn. L. Rev. 540), which questions the Supreme Court’s decision in Washington v. Davis, rejecting a nonmotivational theory of racial discrimination.
Judicial externships begin at the College.
Professor Rhonda Rivera writes Our Straight-Laced Judges: The Legal Position of Homosexual Persons in the United States (30 Hastings L.J. 799).
Professor David Goldberger begins as clinical faculty; he retires in 2009 after 29 years. He took two clinic cases to the U.S. Supreme Court – Cutter v. Wilkinson (religious rights of prisoners) and McIntire v. Ohio Elections Commission, (distribution of anonymous campaign leaflets).
OSLJ organizes the symposium: State Prisoner Use of Federal Habeas Corpus Procedures.
The Oxford Summer program begins. Professor Howard Fink is instrumental in starting the program.
Professor John Quigley leads a group of 19 Ohio lawyers, including five alumni, on a tour of Russia
The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution is founded.
OSLJ enters the digital age with the purchase of Wang word processor.
The law library provides faculty and students with training in Lexis computer research system.
OSLJ symposium: The Tension Between the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
BLSA organizes Civil Rights and Affirmative Action: The Present Struggle for the Future, which was attended by lawyers and officials from across the country.
Professor Nancy K. Rhoden publishes Trimesters and Technology: Revamping Roe v. Wade (95 Yale L.J. 639).
Professor Sheldon W. Halpern writes Application of the Doctrine of Commercial Impracticability: Search for “The Wisdom of Solomon” (135 U. Penn. L. Rev. 1124), arguing that Judge Teitelbaum’s decision in Aluminum Company of America v. Essex Group Inc. (“ALCOA”) has forever changed contract law.
Ohio State hosts the National Institute for Dispute Resolution Conference. More than 140 judges, mediation program administrators attend. It is moderated by the Hon. Thomas Moyer ’64.
The new addition to the building is dedicated.
Legislation is added as a first-year required course.
The Legislation Clinic is founded.
The College stops using adjunct professors to teach first-year legal writing and instead uses full-time, permanent faculty. This is considered a bold move.
The Justice for Children Clinic is founded. Professor Kate Federle joins the faculty.
Professor Ruth Colker publishes The Americans with Disabilities Act: A Windfall for Defendants (34 Harv. Civ. Rits.-Civ. L. L. Rev. 99). This is the beginning of her work in disability rights.
Michael E. Moritz ’61 donates $30 million to the College. At the time, it was the largest gift received by the university. The College is renamed The Michael E. Moritz College of Law in his honor.
The Washington, D.C., Summer Program is founded.
The Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law is founded
Election Law @ Moritz is founded.
OSLJ symposium: Equality, Privacy and Lesbian and Gay Rights after Lawrence v. Texas.
Professor Doug Berman begins his Sentencing Law and Policy blog. It is later cited by the Supreme Court of the United States and racks up nearly 2 million views in its first 10 years.
The Barrister Club, a $2.2 million, privately funded conference and dining facility, opens.
I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society begins publication.
The Ohio State Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal is founded.
The Lawyers as Leaders course is offered for the first time.
A gift from Ken Zeisler ’61 starts the real estate development law project.
Professors Deborah Merritt and Ric Simmons publish LEARNING EVIDENCE: FROM THE FEDERAL RULES TO THE COURTROOM, an innovative approach to teaching the course.
The student locker area, which had not been updated since the building was dedicated in 1959, is transformed into the Dinsmore & Shohl Student Commons.
The Public Service Law Center opens on the first floor of Drinko Hall. It includes space for the Grassbaugh Veterans Project.