Briefing Room


Hon. Sara Lioi ’87 named 2020 William K. Thomas Distinguished Jurist Award Recipient

October 1, 2020 | Alumni

The Moritz College of Law Alumni Society has named Hon. Sara Lioi ’87, the 2020 William K. Thomas Distinguished Jurist Award recipient. The award is presented to a current or former judge who has graduated from the college and whose personal integrity and commitment to fairness, freedom, and equality exemplify the highest ideals of the judicial system.

The Hon. Lioi is a District Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Born in Canton, Ohio, she earned her undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University. Following law school, she joined Day, Ketterer, Raley, Wright & Rybolt, Ltd. where she was promoted to partner in 1993. In November 1997, Governor George Voinovich appointed her to the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Central Division. She was elected to a four-year term in November 1998 and then re-elected for a six-year term in November 2002. On the recommendation of Senators George Voinovich and Mike DeWine, she was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio by President George W. Bush on January 9, 2007. Judge Lioi has served on a number of boards including: the Federal Judges Association, Federal Bar Association, American Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association and Stark County Bar Association. She also has served as chair of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton board of directors as well as Walsh University’s board of directors. At Moritz, she has been a loyal and active member of National Council and a frequent speaker for our students. In 2016, she established a scholarship with fellow alums Amy Kellogg ‘86 and Linda Fisher ’82 to support a law student with demonstrated financial need and academic merit.