Briefing Room


New Student Commons Announced

September 8, 2011 | Events

When alumni come back to The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, one area always looks the same: the student locker area. That’s about to change.

The Dinsmore & Shohl Student Commons is a gift to students at Moritz from the alumni practicing at the law firm Dinsmore & Shohl. The new construction project will transform the student locker area on the first floor – the last remaining part of the building to be renovated.

When finished in August 2012, the student commons will feature new lockers, mailboxes, furniture, flooring, ceilings, utilities, and more. The corridor leading to the student journal suites also will be remodeled.

The Dinsmore & Shohl Student Commons will be designed by the M + A Architects, with construction to begin in May.

A committee comprised of Moritz faculty, staff, and students will work with the architect throughout the 2011-12 school year on renderings, design, and key features.

“I am picturing an area that is comfortable, practical and fun – a place for students to gather, interact, blow off a little steam periodically,” said Donald B. Leach ’82. “It should be a setting, hopefully, that builds the camaraderie. I know I really enjoyed the social aspects and personal relationships at the law school. Part of that was hanging around the lockers. If we can facilitate that, it would be a great success.”

The project is funded by Moritz alumni ranging from the Class of 1966 to the Class of 2010 at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP and a gift from the firm. One hundred percent of alumni practicing at the firm donated. Fundraising was led by Leach and Frank C. Woodside III ’69.

“There has not been a lot of change to this area since we were in school,” Woodside said. “Don and I talked and decided sometimes it’s better to just do things for the students, and that’s how we ended up where we are. When we looked at it, not only had we become one of the top 10 law offices in Columbus, but firm-wide, we had a lot of Ohio State graduates. We thought there were enough people who should be able to come up with the funds to tackle the project.”

A major expansion to Drinko Hall and the Michael E. Moritz Law Library was completed in 1992-93. Other recent major renovation projects include the development of the Barrister Club, the addition of Lou’s Cafe, the creation of the Frank C. Woodside III Moot Courtroom, remodeling of the classroom corridors, and the addition of smart technology to all classrooms.

This article was written by Monica DeMeglio.