Briefing Room
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2018 Moritz Alumni Award recipients announced

May 13, 2018 | Alumni

Moritz alumni across the country are working on the front lines of important social issues, breaking new paths in their chosen fields, and giving back to their communities. Each year we shine a spotlight on those who go above and beyond. We are pleased to announce the 2018 Moritz College of Law Alumni Award recipients. Awards will be presented on Friday, Oct. 5, at the annual reunion cocktail reception held during reunion weekend. Congratulations to this year’s honorees.

William P. Blair III ’70
Distinguished Alumnus Award

Bill Blair has worked for nearly 50 years within the state’s legislative hub in various capacities, spending the last four decades as a lobbyist. Since 1976, Blair has lobbied on behalf of seemingly countless art-related ventures such as symphonies, art institutions, museums, playhouses, ballets, and operas. Other clients include social service agencies, public broadcasting, zoos, and historical societies. Blair was also the founding president of the Ohio Foundation of the Arts, Inc., another statewide arts service corporation. He is a former chairman of the American Arts Alliance in Washington, D.C. and is the founding chairman of the Alliance of Arts Advocates, the nation’s first arts political action committee.

Jessica Clarke ’08
Outstanding Recent Alumna Award

Jessica Clarke is currently of counsel at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP in New York. Prior to joining the firm in 2016, Clarke worked as a trial attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section. She had previously clerked for the Hon. Solomon Oliver, Jr., of the Northern District of Ohio. In her work, she has tried several high-profile cases, including United States v. Town of Colorado City, a first-of-its-kind housing discrimination and police misconduct case.

Justice Judith French ’88
William K. Thomas Distinguished Jurist Award

Justice Judith French became a justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio in January 2013 and was subsequently elected to her first full term in November of 2014. Prior to her time on the court, she was a dedicated civil servant for nearly two decades, working as an assistant attorney general, counsel to the governor, and as a judge. During her time in the Attorney General’s Office, French argued two cases before the United States Supreme Court. Her public service, as well as her experience in private practice, have aided her understanding of state laws and the Ohio judicial system. French currently serves as a member of the Moritz College of Law National Council.

Marchelle Moore ’98
Community Service Award

Marchelle Moore is the senior vice president and the chief legal officer at The Motorists Insurance Group, as well as an adjunct professor at Capital University Law School and chair of The Ohio State University Alumni Association Board of Directors. In her career, she has held multiple positions at the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) as senior legal counsel, interim vice president of human resources and labor relations, and vice president of legal and government affairs. Moore is very active around Columbus, sitting on the boards of the Columbus Urban League, the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, and Neighborhood House. She is also a corporate coordinator for the United Way of Central Ohio, a volunteer for the United Negro College Fund Walk-a-Thon, and a mentor for the Women’s Leadership Council E3 Program.

Michael Finn ’67
George V. Voinovich Public Service Award

Mike Finn has served as the chairman of Power Distributors, LLC, and President of Chesapeake Realty Co. He has also been chairman of Power Source Canada, as well as the director of Rocky Brands, Inc. Finn and his wife, Janet, founded the Public Service Law Center at the Moritz College of Law in 2014. They also established the Finn International Service Fellowship, which supports new graduates working in international service positions.