Briefing Room


12 Columbus Law Firms Join Law Firm Scholarship Drive

August 5, 2010 | Events

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law announced today the successful completion of the first phase of its Law Firm Scholarship Drive, which raised more than $600,000 for new leadership scholarships. Over the past year, Moritz initially approached the law firms with the 12 largest offices in Columbus about the possibility of partnering with the College to support its Leadership Scholarship Initiative. The Initiative is raising cash to fund scholarships that provide opportunities for bright, talented students from diverse backgrounds who have demonstrated leadership abilities and who, as lawyers, will respond to the call to lead in their organizations and communities. This scholarship support plays a crucial role in attracting the best students to Moritz, particularly in these challenging economic times.

Thanks to the outstanding response from a dozen Columbus firms, the College will be able to offer leadership scholarships to 60 more students in the coming years. By investing in scholarships, the firms maintain their close connection to Ohio State, strengthen a nationally prominent law school in the heart of their community, and help sustain access to the legal profession.

The distinguished firms joining the initiative are: Bailey Cavalieri; Baker Hostetler; Bricker & Eckler; Carpenter Lipps & Leland; Chester Willcox & Saxbe; Dinsmore & Shohl; Jones Day; Porter Wright Morris & Arthur; Schottenstein Zox & Dunn; Squire Sanders & Dempsey; Thompson Hine; and Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.

“We are thrilled by the enthusiasm and support of the local bar for our Leadership Scholarship Initiative,” said Alan Michaels, dean of the Moritz College of Law. “The firms’ generosity reflects their confidence in this great law school and our shared role in the Columbus community. Their commitment will make a real difference in bringing the next generation of outstanding lawyers and leaders to Ohio State.”

The leadership scholarships are part of the College’s innovative Program on Law and Leadership, which helps students prepare themselves for the leadership challenges of the future in the profession and beyond. Moritz graduates hold leadership positions in law practice, government, and business, and they will continue to do so. The Program on Law and Leadership allows students to learn about leadership theories, develop skills critical to career success, pinpoint individual leadership strengths, and determine how to best use those abilities.

“Leadership and professional success go hand in hand,” said Daniel J. Gunsett, managing partner of the Columbus office of Baker Hostetler. Baker Hostetler, which was one of three largest contributors to the Initiative, funded 10 student scholarships. “The College’s Leadership program recognizes this linkage in the legal profession, and enhances the College’s ability to attract students with great leadership potential coupled with high academic credentials. It is a privilege for Baker Hostetler to support Dean Michaels’ initiative.”

Thanks to the Program on Law and Leadership, Moritz is on the cutting edge of providing leadership education and training in law schools. Leadership scholarships complement the Program’s leadership development programming, which includes coursework, an extensive speaker series, career assessment resources, and leadership skills workshops.

“I think that the evolution of leadership skills can be a lifelong endeavor combining theoretical knowledge, practice, and applied skills,” said Russell M. Gertmenian, managing partner of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease. Vorys also funded 10 new scholarships at the College. “It is exciting to Vorys that the College would take an interest not only in preparing excellent lawyers but also in preparing excellent leaders for our community, professional groups, the judiciary, law firms, and businesses.”

Robert W. Trafford, managing partner of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, said that the Initiative was appealing to his firm because it understands the vital leadership roles assumed by attorneys. Porter Wright also was a leading contributor to the Initiative, funding 10 new scholarships. “We have a great deal of confidence in the faculty at Moritz, and Dean Michaels’ leadership, so we know the recipients of these scholarships will get a great legal education and will leave law school well prepared to carry on the best traditions of our profession,” Trafford said.

Many of the Columbus law firms that contributed to this law firm portion of the Leadership Scholarship Initiative – along with several others throughout the city and state – have assisted the law school in a variety of endeavors over the years. “The generosity of these firms has allowed the College to create faculty positions, continue scholarship programs, and improve the College’s learning space. This initiative is the latest step forward,” Michaels said.