Briefing Room


Alumnus Carl D. Smallwood Honored with University’s Distinguished Service Award

April 1, 2010 | Alumni

Carl Smallwood ’80 has distinguished himself for leadership in advancing diversity in the Columbus legal community as well as supporting The Ohio State University by giving generously of his time, advice, and resources in advancing diversity at his alma mater.

For those reasons, Smallwood was recognized Sunday as a University Distinguished Service Award winner. The University Distinguished Award, which began in 1952, is awarded to people who have provided a broad spectrum of services to the University in both official and unofficial capacities.

Smallwood is partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease in Columbus and he focuses his community service on broadening educational and post-collegiate opportunities. He was the first African American president of the 4,800-member Columbus Bar Association, where he also led the Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative, a commitment by 22 local law firms to make a concerted effort to recruit, hire, retain, and promote minority lawyers. In its first year, the initiative resulted in a 5 percent increase in minority hires. Smallwood has worked with a number of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law alumni who are managing partners in Columbus firms to ensure the success of this program.

Smallwood also has spearheaded an initiative within his law firm to fund a designated professorship for an Ohio State law professor. This initiative helped the University to retain some of the nation’s finest legal scholars and teachers.

In 2001, Ohio Lawyers Weekly named Smallwood as a “Lawyer of the Year.” In addition, he represents Ohio lawyers as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.

Smallwood regularly assists Moritz College of Law, participating in Scholarship Weekend and previously serving as president of the Moritz Law Alumni Society. In that capacity, he encouraged other alumni to participate more actively with the College and its students. Smallwood has also taught trial practice as a Moritz adjunct professor.

Smallwood continues to be an active servant of the university. He has worked frequently on programs of the Office of Minority Affairs as a representative alumnus whose success provides a model for current and prospective students. Smallwood is a proven Buckeye, proud alumnus, and positive influence on the community.

Two other Moritz graduates, Erin Moriarty ’77 and John W. Creighton, Jr. ’57, were honored with the same award last year.