George W. Hairston '68 Honored by Ohio State
In 1987, minority attorneys were under-represented in large Columbus firms and government agencies. Cleveland Bar Association leaders set about the task of designing a minority clerkship program to address the problem. As the Columbus office managing partner of one of the nation's top firms, Baker & Hostetler, George put the force of the Firm behind the Bar Association's effort. Through this program, minority law students at Ohio State were placed in summer clerkships and ultimately joined the city's largest law firms and public-sector employers. In the intervening years, more than 400 Columbus minority students benefited from the program and it became a model for bar associations nationwide.
Knowing more could be done, George worked with the College of Law to create the Paul D. White Scholarship. Named for a senior partner in the Cleveland office, this scholarship assists deserving minority law students and facilitates the recruitment of those students to Baker & Hostetler. First awarded to an OSU student in 1997, the scholarship program is now in place at the Firm's ten offices nationwide. The Firm's assistant managing partner, Daniel J. Gunsett says of the man who envisioned the Scholarship, "George's leadership is both visionary and compassionate and has as its central focus people and providing them with the best opportunity to thrive and succeed."
Dean Nancy Rogers says it has been a privilege to work with such a constructive and effective person over the years. "His example and enthusiasm have been uniquely valuable in promoting support for the College."
George graduated from the College of Law, cum laude, Order of the Coif in 1968. He received his bachelors of Business Administration with honors from Southern Methodist University in 1965. He practices in the areas of insurance and health law and is nationally known and recognized for his expertise in motor vehicle franchise litigation.
George is the most recent law alumnus to join the select group of law alumni recognized with the University Distinguished Service Award since its inception in 1952. The group includes Grace Fern Heck, J. Paul McNamara, John Drinko, James E. Chapman, Robert J. Watkins, Thomas E. Cavendish, Arthur I Vorys, J. Gilbert Reese, John J. Barone, Joanne Wharton Murphy, and William E. Arthur.